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Fire Safety and Prevention for People With Hearing Impaired

Written by

Jeanne Graulich
Jeanne Graulich
Jeanne Graulich, MA, CCC-A is an audiologist on staff to guide your hearing aid journey in a safe and practical way. Jeanne brings over 30 years of experience fitting hearing aids, specializing in fittings with adults. Her passion for improving communication and overall quality of life shines through in every interaction.

All people with hearing loss, whether completely deaf or hearing impaired, are at risk during a fire when traditional smoke alarms can’t be heard.  It is not recommended that hearing aids be worn while sleeping at night.  The options for people who will not awaken from a traditional alarm are strobe lights, vibrating receivers for pillows or beds, or a lower frequency alarm where less hearing loss is present.  A strobe light is often used with a pillow/bed vibrator in case a person does not wake up from the strobe light.  The equipment should be validated by a recognized testing laboratory.

It is recommended by the National Fire Protection Association that a smoke alarm be installed in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area, and on every home level.  To decrease reaction time for escaping in the event of a fire, interconnect all the smoke alarms so everyone is signaled.  Test equipment monthly with all household members familiar with the equipment.  

Research equipment thoroughly before purchase.  The website for the National Fire Protection Association, nfpa.org, is a great resource.  Proper equipment that will awaken all household members is critical in saving lives if a fire should ever break out.