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What Different Hearing Impaired Smoke Detectors Are Available?

People with hearing problems can buy accessories, such as vibrating devices, for their smoke detectors.
Proper maintenance of a smoke sensor is critical to practicing good fire safety.
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  • Written By: Sarah Sullins
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 14 October 2014
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Some of the different hearing impaired smoke detectors that are available for people who are deaf or hard of hearing are smoke detectors that come with strobe lights and those that have separate wireless devices that vibrate when a smoke alarm goes off. Talking smoke detectors are also available and may help people who have difficulty hearing a certain frequency of sound. Separate accessories can be purchased with a smoke detector to make it easier for a deaf or hard-of-hearing person to be alerted to the threat of a fire.

Strobe light hearing impaired smoke detectors may be used to light up a room with flashes of light to alert a person to a fire. The strobe lights can be separate accessories and can be placed in any room of the home. When the smoke alarm sounds, lights that resemble flashes of lightning or a camera flash will activate.

Vibrating accessories that come with a hearing impaired smoke detector can be placed in a person’s pocket or can be put in a person’s bed. When the alarm goes off, it will send out a signal that triggers a vibration to let the person know that a fire has been detected. If the person is sleeping, the vibration will most likely wake him up.

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Some people have not completely lost their hearing, but are unable to hear certain frequencies of sound. For many, the high-pitched sound of a regular smoke detector cannot be heard, so special hearing impaired smoke detectors must be used. Some of the smoke detectors can talk, saying particular phrases in a lower frequency to encourage a sleeping person to wake up in the event of a fire. Accessories are also available that perform the same task but can be placed right beside a person’s bed.

There are also hearing impaired smoke detectors that can be linked to objects such as cell phones and doorbells. In the event of a fire, the alarm will send out a signal that sets off the doorbell and calls a person’s phone. This can be a convenient and quick way of alerting a deaf or hard of hearing homeowner to a fire.

Accessories such as the strobe light and vibrator may only be used with specially designed hearing impaired smoke detectors, and while they are made to alert persons with hearing impairments, they will also sound an alarm so that those who can hear are aware there is an emergency. These types of smoke detectors can be ordered online and are often available at retail stores as well.

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Post 2

Please be advised that the term, “hearing impaired” is unacceptable. Here is the explanation:

The term "Hearing Impaired" is a technically accurate term much preferred by hearing people, largely because they view it as politically correct. In the mainstream society, to boldly state one's disability (e.g., deaf, blind, etc.) is somewhat rude and impolite. To their way of thinking, it is far better to soften the harsh reality by using the word "impaired" along with "visual", "hearing", and so on. "hearing-impaired" is a well-meaning word that is much-resented by deaf and hard of hearing people.

While it's true that their hearing is not perfect, that doesn't make them impaired as people. Most would prefer to be called Deaf, Hard of Hearing or deaf when the need arises to refer to their hearing status, but not as a primary way to identify them as people (where their hearing status is not significant).

Hope that you and your people respect by refusing to use the outdated and offensive term.

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