One important way you can keep yourself safe is to make sure your smoke alarm is working properly. Smoke alarms save lives! This we know is true. Yet, two thirds of home fire deaths occur in homes without working alarms.
Age-related hearing loss may make it difficult for older adults to hear the sound of the smoke alarm and to respond quickly. It would be wise to test smoke alarms in the home to make sure everyone can hear them, even when asleep. Additional notification devices separate from the smoke alarm, like those that produce complex low frequency audible sounds, can be added to your alarm system to awaken those with mild to severe hearing loss. For deaf individuals living in the home, consider installing a smoke alarm that uses a flashing light, vibration, or high intensity strobes to alert them to a fire emergency. There are even pillow or bed shakers that are activated by the sound of the alarm. All of these devices can be purchased at home Improvement store websites or by searching the internet for “strobe light smoke alarms”.
As of April 1, 2019, a New York State law says that all businesses must sell smoke detectors that are either a 10 year, sealed, non-removable battery or hardwired detector. Thanks to this new law, smoke detectors are designed to have a ten-year life without the need to change batteries.
Follow these tips to ensure you are protected by working, properly installed smoke alarms. These are important steps we can take today to be safe in our homes during National Safety Awareness Month and every month throughout the year.
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