Smoke alarms save lives. However, people who are deaf or are hard of hearing may not be able to depend on the traditional smoke alarm to alert them to fire.
- 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 the smoke alarm.
- As people age, their ability to hear high-pitched sounds decreases. 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, or 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 are hard of hearing according to manufacturer's recommendations.
The Overland Park Fire Department has smoke alarms, strobe lights and vibration notification appliances available to Overland Park residents that are deaf or are hard of hearing.
For more information call 913-895-8400.