Free Fire Alarm For Hearing Impaired Saves Tulsan's Life

Sunday, January 25th 2015, 8:34 pm
By: News On 6

Fire alarms are credited with saving lives every day, but for some, regular fire alarms don't work.

That's why several organizations in Oklahoma have teamed up to provide fire alarms for those who are deaf or suffer from hearing loss.

Marie Guard said the device saved her life.

"We were talking, and I looked, and I could see way down the hall, way down there, the strobe," Guard said.

The alarm had been installed in her home in Broken Arrow just 30 minutes before.

“So I walked into the living room to find smoke and I was shocked,” Guard said. “Where was that coming from? So I came into the kitchen and I couldn't believe it. The pan here was still cold and there was smoke, smoke going on here."

Guard said she had started to melt chocolate on the stove for candy, then went to call her husband on the video phone and tell him about the new alarm.

She said she never meant to test it out so soon.

“No one was hurt, no, just my pride a little bit,” she said. " There was no smoke smell in the office, and this could have continued and become a real dangerous fire."

After her experience, Guard wants other people to know about the alarms.

She said that growing up, many things were not available to help the hearing impaired.

“As a matter of fact, when I became deaf, there was not even closed captioning on the television," she said.

But much has changed, she said, and the alarm installed in her home was free, thanks to grants through Oklahoma State University.

An opportunity Marie hopes anyone with hearing loss won't pass up..

“This is far better than any equipment I've seen before," Guard said.

The director of the program said Guard's case was the 18th documented save since they started the program.

For more information on how to apply, click here.

Anyone who is hard of hearing or deaf in Oklahoma is eligible for the program.