Smoke Alarms for the Deaf or Hard of Hearing

Integrated Fire SystemsFire Alarm News

Will You Be Notified in the Event of a Fire?

Smoke alarms are important devices that help notify people that smoke is present in a building. The smoke alarms alert is traditionally auditory. This audible beep is loud and startling. This is meant to get people’s attention so they can evacuate the building quickly and safely. But, for people who are deaf and/or hard of hearing, a traditional smoke alarm might not be enough for them to be adequately notified in the event of a fire.

All Smoke Alarms

It is important that there is smoke alarm installed in every bedroom, outside every sleeping area, and on every level of your home. For additional safety NFPA recommends to have your smoke alarms interconnected. That way, “if one sounds, they all sound. This gives people more time to escape”.

With home smoke alarms you also need to test them regularly. You should go around once a month and test the smoke alarm using the test button. For more detailed information on testing smoke alarms and their regulations check out this blog post.

Safety Tips

If you or a loved one is deaf or hard of hearing it is important to take extra safety precautions when it comes to your smoke alarms. In the event of a fire you want to make sure that everyone is able to know that they are going off so they can evacuate.

NFPA recommends the following safety tips:

  • Smoke alarms are available for people who are deaf (those with profound hearing loss). These alarms use strobe lights to wake the person. Vibration notification appliances, such as pillow or bed shakers, are required and are currently activated by the sound of a smoke alarm.
  • As people age, their ability to hear high-pitched sounds decreases. Research from NFPA’s Research Foundation showed that older adults are unlikely to respond to alarms with strobe lights.
  • Older adults or other people who are hard of hearing (those with mild to severe hearing loss) can use a device that emits a mixed low-pitched sound. In its current form, this device is activated by the sound of a traditional smoke alarm.
  • Always choose equipment that has the label of a recognized testing laboratory.
  • Make sure everyone in your home understands and reacts to the signal (light, vibration, sound) used in their situation.
  • All smoke alarms should be tested at least monthly. Replace smoke alarms and equipment for people who are deaf or hard of hearing according to manufactures recommendations.
How We Can Help

Here at IFS we only install fire and life safety devices in commercial properties. If you need smoke alarms that use strobe lights for deaf or hard of hearing tenants in properties such as hospitals, nursing homes, apartment buildings, etc. give us a call at 888-987-5322. We will be able to answer your questions and give you a quote to ensure that you and your tenants will be safely notified in the event of a fire.

-The IFS Team