One out of five people with hearing loss purchase their first hearing aid due to safety concerns. Unfortunately most people do not sleep with the hearing aids in their ears. Yet research summarized in a HLAA press release has shown that people with mild to moderately severe sensorineural hearing loss cannot hear the typical high frequency sound (3100 Hz) of smoke alarms. In addition children, heavy sleepers or intoxicated sleepers are less likely to respond to high frequency smoke alarms.
I recently reviewed a smoke alarm a product designed to meet the needs of people with high-frequency hearing loss.
Lifetone has created a bedside fire alarm and clock with a powerful vibration device for placement under the pillow or mattress (bed shaker). I saw an impressive demo of the device which was activated with a fire alarm signal over the telephone. This device is loud. The first of its kind the Lifetone bedside fire alarm and clock uses a 520 Hz square-wave sound pattern proven by the Fire Protection Research Foundation to be more effective at alerting and awakening people with hearing loss, seniors, children, and heavy sleepers than standard fire alarms. The Lifetone sensor listens for your existing smoke detectors (smoke alarms) and then broadcasts its low frequency, 520Hz square wave sound pattern.
The device works with existing T3 smoke alarms; but may not work with older alarms. So it would seem that a trial period is necessary to make sure that the individual's smoke alarm is capable of activating the bedside alarm. Also of interest is the effectiveness of the device for those homes where there a smoke alarm downstairs but not upstairs and whether the device picks up the signal in upstairs bedrooms.
This is a good idea which addresses a real need of people with high frequency hearing loss not to mention the elderly or heavy sleepers.
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