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Smoke Detector for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

By HopeCharlotte |

We all know that smoke alarm saves lives. For people who are unable to hear, there must be a smoke detector that can alarm, instead of beeping and chirping, in a way that can alert them of the danger such as an alarm with flashing lights of a certain intensity. On this page, we will discuss different smoke detectors that deaf can use and what are the safety tips, so that they can protect themselves from damages of fire.

Smoke Alarms for Deaf and Hard of Hearing People

There is a variety of smoke detectors that are available for people that are unable to hear. Let’s have a look at fire safety appliances for people that are unable to hear.

1. Strobe Lights

Fire alarms with flashing lights are made to alert people that can’t hear. These smoke alarms detect smoke and carbon monoxide. The flashing lights can alert an individual even while sleeping. Some alarms come with a variety of flashing lights that enable you to identify different warnings. Most fire alarms that are non-residential include lights. It would be beneficial to install these alarms in your home.

2. Vibration Appliances

Vibration appliances such as a bed or pillow shaker can be useful for those who can't wake up to visual or audio smoke detectors. When you connect a vibration device to a fire alarm and place it under a pillow, the device will vibrate and alert the individual by displaying "Fire" on the screen. American Red Cross claims that such vibration tools saved more than 800 people.

3. Sprinklers

Though smoke alarms are important to alert you during a fire, they are not designed to do anything to extinguish the fire. If you install sprinkler systems in your home, these devices can alert you as well as help you to distinguish fires. Thus they are life-saving and also reduce the smoke and damage caused by the fire in your home.

4. Fire Extinguisher

In your home, it is smart to have a fire extinguisher at each level. The kitchen is the main area where most house fires start. If you have multiple fire extinguishers in your home, it will be easier to put out the fire. Make sure that you check the pressure gauge per month. However, you should do an internal inspection every six years.

5. Fire Blanket

Early and small fires can be extinguished by fire blankets. It is good to have such items in your car, garage, or home. Along with smoldering small fires, a fire blanket can also protect you when you try to exit the area.  These safety devices should be easily accessible during the fire. Using these safety tools, keep protect yourself and your family member safe from the damages of fire.

Safety Tips Which NFPA Recommends

  • For people with severe hearing loss, many smoke alarms are available these days. These fire alarms utilize flashing lights to wake a sleeping person. Moreover, vibration appliances, as mentioned earlier, bed or pillow shakers that are activated by smoke alarms are beneficial to have in homes.
  • With age, it becomes difficult for people to hear the sound that is of high-pitch. NFPA Research Foundation declares that older adults are unable to respond to alarms that come with flashing lights.
  • Hard of hearing people and also older adults can benefit from a device that gives off the mixed low-pitch sound. Sound of the traditional fire alarm activates this device.
  • You should choose a device that comes with a label that is tested by a recognized laboratory.
  • You should make sure that all members of your family understand the fire signals such as sound, vibration, or light, and react appropriately according to the situation.
  • You should test all the smoke alarms in your home at least once a month. And as per manufacturer’s recommendation, make sure you replace smoke and CO alarms and tools for people who are unable to hear.


The sound of a fire alarm is not for people who are unable to hear. They should use a fire alarm that can warn them of danger using vibration appliances or strobe lights. In addition to this, there are other safety tools such as fire blankets or fire extinguishers that help you protect yourself and your family.

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