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Fire Safety for People who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing

Overview

Regardless of ​the type of hearing loss, people who are Deaf or hard of hearing have unique needs that may interfere with their ability to hear a smoke alarm and escape safely from a house fire. The Office of State Fire Marshal encourages Deaf and hard of hearing populations to practice the following safety tips: Fire Safety for Deaf or Hard of Hearing 
 
Below are examples of audible, strobe (visual), and shaker (tactile) smoke alarms available for people who are Deaf or hard of hearing.

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Fire Safety for Deaf or Hard of Hearing

Low Frequency Smoke Alarm

A typical smoke alarm makes a high pitched, piercing sound; however, for many people with hearing loss, this sound is beyond their hearing range. The low frequency smoke alarm is designed for people with high frequency or high pitch hearing loss. It provides a loud, low frequency tone which is much easier for people with hearing loss to hear.


Strobe Smoke Alarm
This type of alarm has both a visual and audible smoke alarm. The smoke alarm may be hard-wired with a battery backup to maintain the audible alarm, or may be stand-alone, battery-powered, or plug-in to an electrical outlet. These alarms use a flashing strobe light to provide a visual alarm, as well as an audible alarm.


Smoke Alarm with Bed Shaker 
A low-frequency (audible), light or text (visual), and shaker (tactile) smoke alarm system. This type of alarm plugs in to an electrical outlet, and the shaker is placed under the pillow or mattress. It shakes when activated, produces an audible, low frequency alarm, and some models can also visually signals users of activation.

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