You Bet Your Life: Check Your Smoke Alarm

Billie and Robert Nicholson

smoke alarm

Image: www.lowenlow.com

We are constantly bombarded with safety messages about checking the batteries in our smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. By this time most of us yawn and say, “yea, yea.” Yet we constantly read or hear of preventable deaths from fires that occur in homes without effective fire alarms. But sometimes just checking batteries and pushing the test button, especially when up close to the alarm, is just not enough.

As the population ages and as some of our veterans returning from war find, a lot of people experience hearing loss. Modern hearing aids are wonderful when worn during our busy day and evening events. But when bedtime comes we take off our hearing aids and go to sleep. Modern fire alarms emit a warning signal in the frequency range of around 3000 hertz (that’s two octaves above middle C on a piano.) According to the Fire Protection Research Foundation, the typical smoke alarm fails to wake up almost 50% of those with hearing loss.

For the person with hearing deficits, more effective smoke alarms include the Lifetone Bedside Fire Alarm and Clock (www.lifetonesafety.com), the Loudenlow Smoke Detector (www.loudenlow.com), and the Silent Call (www.silentcall.com). These special alarms have reported to wake up about 80% of hearing impaired sleepers.

For your safety and piece of mind do the following: Test your smoke alarm to be sure that it will wake you in your bed. Don’t depend on a strobe device. Strobes only alerted about 25% of sleepers. Consider purchasing an alarm that signals you in the low-pitched sound area, close to middle C on the piano and that includes one with a bed shaker.

A lot of people dream of their 15 minutes of fame. Don’t let your story end with “Died of Smoke Inhalation”. For more fun information on fire safety visit www.sparky.org  or  www.sparky.org/parents

Additional Articles in the April 2014 Issue:

  • A reminder to review and rotate three types of items in your 72 hour emergency kit.
  • A discussion of the importance of “duck and cover” in surviving a nuclear attack
  • What are your plans to provide protein in your diet in an emergency situation? Here are some items to add to your supplies
  • Our featured contributor this month is Tess Pennington of ReadyNutrition.com. She shares an article about Bio Mass Briquettes. Now you’ll have an environmentally friendly use for those shredded documents.
  • Sun Ovens are a perfect partner for bio mass briquettes, here’s how …
  • Some of our friends have complained that their yards were so shady that they doubted they could grow anything in a garden. In answer to their questions, here are some plants that can be grown in shade. Don’t give up on your yard either. Read more
  • Speaking of gardening, do you use Epsom salts? Here’s why.
  • We can all be prepared to take the initiative to save a life, should we be faced with a life or death situation. Here are three critical first aid procedures that can be accomplished with one dressing.
  • Our Solar Chef has included a wonderful recipe for Solar Stuffed Shells. Give it a try, these are yummy.

 Billie Nicholson, Editor
April 2014

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