By CBSLA Staff

TORRANCE (CBSLA) — The world’s only emergency warning system designed for deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals was activated Friday at Torrance Beach.

Hahn was joined by members of Los Angeles County’s deaf and hard-of-hearing communities to commemorate the activation of the Beach Emergency Evacuation Lights System or BEELS.

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“Our beautiful @CountyofLA beaches are for everyone and they need to be accessible to everyone, regardless of ability,” Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn said on Twitter. “The BEELS emergency alert system won’t just save lives — it can be a model of accessibility and inclusion for beaches worldwide to follow.”

 

The BEELS system, conceived by Department of Beaches and Harbors Safety Officer Randy Dean,is the first beach evacuation warning system of its kind to incorporate flashing lights specifically designed to alert people who are deaf or hard of hearing, according to county officials.

Lights and speakers are mounted on two lifeguard towers, the permanent lifeguard and restroom building, and the restroom building on the north end of Torrance Beach.

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The system’s lights can be seen from more than a quarter of a mile away, and the audio measures 109 decibels at the water in front of the lifeguard building.

“BEELS is another example of how when we expand access with one group in mind, we end up providing a benefit for all,” DBH Director Gary Jones said. “It also shows how one person — in this case, our own Randy Dean — can make a difference and accomplish something that doesn’t exist anywhere else in the world.”

DBH officials plan to expand the system to other beaches along the coast.

For more information, visit beaches.lacounty.gov/BEELS.

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(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)