One thing that hearing people don’t often consider is the difficulties deaf people face with traditional smoke alarms. These devices, which generate a high-pitched sound in the presence of smoke, will not do much good to someone sleeping who is hard of hearing. New alarms are being designed with this in mind, and the Indiana State Fire Marshal’s Office is distributing 1,200 of them for free.The new alarms have strobe lights and bed shakers, which collectively provide insurance that the alarm will be noticed while the individual is both sleeping and awake. It’s also important that every individual, whether deaf or hearing, regularly practice their escape plans. Deaf individuals should inform their local fire department about their special needs and make sure that they have a system set up which will quickly alert the department in the case of emergency.
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