People who are hearing impaired should use alarms with strobe (flashing) lights that have been tested by an independent testing laboratory. The alarms for sleeping areas with strobe lights are required to be of a special high intensity that can wake a sleeping person. Most major smoke alarm companies offer alarms with strobe lights. For information on availability and pricing, go to the manufacturers’ Web sites.
Consider installing a smoke alarm that uses a flashing light, vibration and/or sounds to alert people to a fire emergency. The majority of fatal fires occur when people are sleeping, and because smoke can put people into a deeper sleep, it is important to have the necessary early warning of a fire to ensure that they wake up.
Be sure that the smoke alarm you buy carries the label of an independent testing laboratory.
If there is fire or smoke, get out immediately and go to the designated meeting place. But if you are trapped by fire or smoke, have your TTY/TTD device or other alerting systems close to the bed so that communication with emergency personnel is possible should fire or smoke trap you in your room.
Alarms with a 10-year lithium battery eliminate the problem of having to change batteries. The batteries are designed to last the life of an alarm. Ten-year battery alarms still need to be tested in accordance with manufacturers’ instructions at least once a month.
Alarms that go off because of burnt toast, steam, or other non-threatening sources can be a nuisance and can discourage people from using smoke alarms. Use alarms with a silencing feature that can be pressed to delay the alarm for a short period time. If the smoke does not clear in a certain amount of time, the alarm will sound again.
Install smoke alarms on every level of your home and outside each separate sleeping area. If you sleep with bedroom doors closed, have a qualified electrician install interconnected smoke alarms in each room so when one sounds, they all sound. Install a new battery in all conventional alarms at least once a year. Test your alarm at least once a month, following the manufacturer’s instructions.
Include everyone in your home and make a home escape plan, making provisions for anyone who has a disability. Practice your plan at least twice a year.