Standard, run-of-the-mill home security systems and devices are designed to emit audible alarms. They are intended to be loud, to alert you, your family and neighbors within earshot. But if you or a family member is deaf or hearing impaired, standard devices are ineffective during an emergency or break-in.
Alarms and security sirens should continue to make a loud noise, but in addition they need to alert a hearing impaired person in some other way: lights and vibration mechanisms are key warning strategies.
Strobe lights have been added to special security devices. During waking hours the lights are triggered simultaneously with any audible alarm.
Consider a standard smoke detector: it’s one of the most common security and safety devices and is present in almost every type of residential dwelling. However, when the device detects smoke it triggers an audible and annoying alarm actually designed to wake even a sound sleeper, since a fire during the night is the biggest risk to life.
Smoke detectors for the hearing impaired utilize two alternative sensory alerts: bright strobe lights AND a vibration mechanism that can be attached to a bed or underneath a pillow. When smoke is detected the device emits this combination of sensory alerts.
Fire alarms do the same.
The biggest advantage to a monitored home security system is that as soon as a system detector, alarm or monitor is triggered, whether by fire, smoke or intruder, an alert is transmitted automatically to a remote monitoring station where authorities are instantly notified of the emergency, 24/7/365 days a year. For the deaf or hearing impaired the system does the work of communication.
Contact trained and licensed installation contractors in your area that offer security technologies for the deaf.
Simple devices like smoke detectors for the deaf are a do-it-yourself project, but don’t take on anything more complex unless you are sure the system or device is configured correctly. Let trained professionals design and install a whole home system. Expect that any of these security solutions for the deaf will cost considerably more than standard devices. For example, home smoke detectors typically cost $10 or less, but buy a model designed for the hearing impaired and you’ll pay $70 and up for a decent quality device.
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