Thanks to technological and medical advances, individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing can now live more independent lives than ever before. In addition to devices that help you communicate and connect with the world, there are also devices and systems available to help you stay safe.
Traditionally, carbon monoxide detectors emit an alarm or a beeping noise to alert people that carbon monoxide has been detected. For individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing, these traditional devices may not be effective. Because of the danger of carbon monoxide, however, it is essential that you have a system in place that can you notify you of dangerous conditions. More than 400 Americans die from unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning every year, and fatality is highest among those who are 65 and older. A carbon monoxide detector that fits your needs is crucial.
To help you stay safe and ensure that you are alerted of any dangerous situation, there are special carbon monoxide detectors available designed to accommodate your needs. Here are some options available for the deaf and hard of hearing:
- Extra loud – For the hard of hearing, an extra loud carbon monoxide detector may be a good choice. This device produces an alarm that is louder than regular carbon monoxide detectors to ensure that you hear the alarm and can take action to move to safety.
- Flashing strobe lights – Some extra loud carbon monoxide detectors are also equipped with flashing strobe lights, which can help to alert individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing.
- Vibrating – Nighttime emergency situations can be challenging. You may want to consider a carbon monoxide detector with a bed-vibrating system. These devices come with a component that is placed under your bed or pillow; the component vibrates when the detector is triggered, ensuring that you awaken and can move to safety. Some of these alarm systems also come with a digital display to notify you of the situation once you are awake.
If your carbon monoxide alarm goes off, it is important to take immediate action. If you or anyone else shows signs of carbon monoxide poisoning, including headache, dizziness, nausea, confusion, or vomiting, exit the building immediately, call 911, and do not reenter the building until emergency services have indicated that it is safe to return.
If no one shows symptoms of carbon monoxide exposure, open all windows to get air ventilation, turn off any appliances that use gas (such as a furnace), and reset the carbon monoxide detector. It is still advised to leave the building and call a qualified technician or the fire department to ensure that the building is safe.
In addition to carbon monoxide detectors designed for the deaf and hard of hearing, smoke detectors with alternative alarm systems are also available. Some alarm systems include both a carbon monoxide detector and a smoke detector. These smoke detectors often work in the same ways described above. Models are also available that detect the pitch of a normal smoke alarm and then emit a much louder, lower-pitched alarm that is more likely to alert or wake those who are hard of hearing.
If you have any questions about carbon monoxide or smoke detectors for the deaf and hard of hearing, please feel free to contact us. We are dedicated to helping find the solutions you need so you can stay safe.