News Flash

Press Releases

Posted on: September 19, 2023

EOFD to launch Free Smoke Detector Program for visually and hearing impaired residents


East Orange, NJ, September 19, 2023:  October is Fire Prevention Awareness Month and the East Orange Fire Department (EOFD) is preparing to launch its Free Smoke Alarm Program for the visually and hearing impaired.

This program is designed to provide free smoke alarms for East Orange residents who are particularly vulnerable during fire emergencies because they may not be able to see or hear the alarm.  The specialized alarm, commonly referred to as a ‘Bed Shaker,’ is installed next to the bed, and alerts those in the home using a strobe light and vibrating pad that can be placed under the mattress or pillow. It is activated when an accompanying traditional smoke alarm sounds. These alarms have a special high intensity that can wake a sleeping person.

"It is so imperative that we ensure all of our citizens have the tools they need in case of fire emergencies that may occur at home," said Mayor Ted R. Green. "Our EOFD firefighters do an excellent job raising community awareness of fire safety  and prevention, and  these alarms are an extension of EOFD's ongoing efforts to keep our city safe."   

“In the event of a fire, every second counts, but those who are visually and hearing impaired cannot depend on the sound of the regular alarm to alert them to a fire,” said Interim EOFD Fire Chief Bruce Davis. “The alarms we are distributing have a special high intensity that can wake a sleeping person. These specialized alarms may be the deciding factor between life and death for our most vulnerable citizens.”

To protect the people in your home, please adhere to these fire safety tips:

  • Install alarms on every level of your home, outside each sleeping area and in each sleeping area.
  • Sleep with your door closed.
  • Test each alarm every month, following the manufacturer’s directions, and replace batteries once a year, or whenever an alarm “chirps” to signal a low battery. 
  • Newer units with the 10-year long-life batteries, should also be tested monthly.
  • Never “borrow” a smoke alarm battery for another use — a disabled alarm can’t save your life. Replace alarms that are more than 10 years old.  

If you or someone you know needs this device, please call EOFD’s Community Outreach Division at 973-266-5520.