I have hearing loss. I'd wake up if my smoke alarm went off in the night... right?
Fire safety with hearing loss is an important topic but one that few people think about. Most individuals who wear hearing aids feel pretty confident they’d hear their smoke alarm during the day when they have their hearing aids in but what about while they’re sleeping? Since hearing aids aren’t worn while sleeping, waking to a smoke alarm is a real concern. When a smoke alarm goes off in your home, time is of the essence, sometimes only giving a very few minutes to wake up and get out of your home safely. Even mild to moderate hearing loss can reduce your ability to wake or wake promptly to a typical smoke alarm. Especially for individuals living alone, this poses a significant safety concern.
There are many alerting devices available that are designed to wake individuals when the smoke alarm sounds. These are easy to use and often work with the smoke alarms you already have. Often times these alarms sit by your bed, sometimes even pulling double duty as your bedside clock. These devices listen for a smoke alarm and when they hear one, they do things such as emit a different pitched tone that may be easier for a person with hearing loss to hear, flash, and most effectively, use a bed shaking device to vibrate the bed to make sure the individual wakes in time to escape their home safely.
If you have safety concerns for yourself or a loved one, investigate what alerting options would be best for you. Your audiologist is a great resource!