New technology helps increase safety for the deaf and hard of hearing

NewsCanada – Spring 2016

Hearing smoke alarms blaring and escaping a fire is a terrifying experience for anyone. Now, imagine if you are deaf or hard of hearing. A smoke alarm with an integrated LED strobe light has been introduced by Kidde Canada to help the deaf and their family members have greater peace of mind in fire emergencies. Designed to be hardwired into a home’s electrical system, the new device also features a 10-year sealed backup battery to keep the alarm functioning during a power outage. It never needs to be changed for the life of the alarm.

A voice warning also calls out “Fire!” if the alarm activates. It will also call out “Carbon Monoxide!” if it is interconnected with a separate Kidde carbon monoxide alarm.

“In the past, it was possible to add a strobe light to hardwired smoke alarms but you ended up with two units on your ceiling,” says Carol Heller of Kidde. “A powerful strobe light has now been integrated right into the smoke alarm, along with a 10-year backup battery, a first in Canada.”

As a hardwired and interconnected smoke alarm, this new model can be connected with other alarms in a home. If some of those are the same integrated strobe light alarm, all strobes will flash in a synchronized fashion in an emergency.

“An aging population is a fact of life and along with that often comes, hearing loss,” Heller adds. “This new alarm reduces barriers to safety for those who are deaf or hard of hearing in a single device that is relatively inconspicuous…until it is called into action.”