Torrance Beach Just Got Safer for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

A first-of-its-kind emergency alert system for the deaf and hearing impaired has just been set up at Torrance Beach. The Beach Emergency Evacuation Lights System (BEELS) is part of a pilot program meant to expand access to LA County waters.

“Our beaches are open seven days a week, 365 days a year, but none of that matters if people can’t come,” Gary Jones, director of the county’s Beaches and Harbors Department, told the LA Times.

Two buildings and lifeguard towers have been equipped with loudspeakers and strobe lights.

“In the event of an emergency — such as a tsunami, rip current or shark sighting — lifeguards will activate the system,” according to the Times. “Los Angeles County lifeguards are also being taught basic American Sign Language.”

BEELS is the brainchild of Harbors Safety Officer Randy Dean. He worked with the county as well as the City of Torrance to bring his vision of inclusion and safe access to life. The total cost of the pilot program is $225,000.