Most home fire fatalities occur when people are sleeping and likely not wearing their hearing instruments. While signals generated by most smoke detectors may seem very loud, if you have a mild to moderate hearing loss, the alarm’s warning may not be sufficient to arouse you from sleep. This could be a tragedy waiting to happen.
There are a number of smoke detectors specifically designed for the hearing-impaired population. Look for bed-side products designed to work with existing residential smoke detector products, capable of emitting a 520Hz square wave sound with a bedshaker device. Research suggests that the combination of this shaking technology and unique sound spectrum to be most effective in waking individuals with hearing impairment.
Dr. Dorothy Bruck, at the Victoria University of Australia, stated: “If you have moderate to severe hearing loss and you are relying on your hallway smoke alarm to wake you up you are living with a sense of false security. Our findings suggest that less than half of such hearing impaired people will awake to a hallway normal high pitched alarm. However, hard of hearing people were seven times more likely to wake up to a low frequency tone with a complex frequency profile than the normal alarm signal.”
Bruck continued: “The standard smoke alarm that is widely sold has a pure tone with a frequency of around 3000 to 4000 Hz. Such high frequencies are the most vulnerable to hearing loss associated with advancing age.”
For all persons with hearing loss (hearing aids or no hearing aids) consider replacing all of your smoke detectors with low-frequency smoke detectors. You will sleep peacefully knowing you are protected.
Of course, your first line of protection is an appointment with Peninsula Hearing Center to check your hearing health. Your health is our first concern. Call us today for an evaluation.