5 Best Smoke Alarms for Deaf and Hard of Hearing

Author: Reece Thompson | Updated on September 9, 2020

For most of us, we don't give a second thought to fire alarms. However, for those that struggle with hearing, we need specialist products.

Smoke alarms are lifesavers: fact!

In case of emergency, smoke alarms have been proven to reduce the amount of injury and deaths. If a fire breaks out, they give the occupants extra time to escape.

In typical situations, alarms produce a constant loud and intermittent beeping noise when they detect smoke. They are irreplaceable when aiding people to escape from the room or building.

However, when we think about deaf and hard of hearing people, the case is entirely different.

We need to find more creative ways to alert them. The bleeping noise from the device will not help.

For example, the use of flashing strobe lights and vibrating pads are some options. Conventional mains wired smoke alarms would probably still work for mild to average hard of hearing people. It is difficult to apply these variants for completely deaf people. If you want to read our take on this, you might be interested to read our fire escape guide for the hearing impaired.

You can't ignore this issue if a member of your family is hard of hearing. We dive deep into several options for you if you fall into this category. Various campaign groups have tried to bring this to public attention over the last decade.

If you think you can improve, please read this informative piece to find the best smoke alarm for either the deaf or hard of hearing.

1. UHPPOTE Wired


Our Rating: 4.5/5

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This tops our list with its attractive design and performance. For hard of hearing residents, this device is proven for its great help. The powerful Led light strobe does the trick.

The excellent strobe light feature helps to differentiate between dangers. This device is compatible with 18 different alerting systems. It's also user friendly as it provides "quick connect" wiring.

Furthermore, this device meets the standards of UL and Americans with Disabilities Act.

PROS

  • Premium 177 candela LED light
  • Exclusive slim design which easily mounts with the wall
  • Easy to install

CONS

  • The battery doesn't back up the strobe light

2. Aico Ei171RF

Aico Ei171RF
Our Rating: 4/5

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Aico Ei171RF alarm panel is one of the most acceptable alerting devices. This alarm panel comes with exclusive strobe light with a flash rate of 0.8Hz. This device also features a long-lasting rechargeable battery.

This battery backup provides more safety. For detectable emergency alerts, it also produces vast output angles for lights. This device has a system that eradicates to wire the alarm and gives an easy installation.

The manufacturer recommends this as it provides a vibrating pillow pad. The combination of strobe light and the pad makes the system more dependable.

The wireless interconnection technology facilitates to connect with other alerting devices. It makes the whole alarm system a complete solution against any fire hazard.

PROS

  • Exclusive design for the hard of hearing
  • Compatible with other advanced fire alarms
  • Built-in indicator lights on the front of the device

CONS

  • The battery is rechargeable but not replaceable

3. Kidde P4010ACLEDS-2


Our Rating: 4/5

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This is an interconnected strobe light producer from Kidde, which generates a visual alarm for danger.

This device indicates any occurring carbon monoxide or smoke heat hazard. The sign starts if the heat is above 32˚F to 120˚F.

It comes with a temper resist pin, which helps to detect any tampering or theft. It should be used in conjunction with other working smoke or heat alarms. It's designed to add a benefit for those that are hard of hearing.

This device has a fast installation, but all the devices should connect with a single power line.

This device is approved by Underwriters Laboratories (UL). UL observes different products for its usability. They follow a particular code of conduct to ensure the safety of the products.

PROS

  • Bright and steady dual-mode strobe light
  • 1000 ft. of wire can be used to interconnect with other devices
  • Provides five years warranty

CONS

  • Other units must be from the same manufacturer for interconnection

4. GENTEX GIDDS


Our Rating: 4/5

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Visual alarms are suitable for hard of hearing or the deaf. The photoelectronic smoke alarm makes an important mark in this area. They provide a 9-foot plug inline cord, which is suitable for easy installation in any place.

This alarm device comes with test switches from three positions. It has a great battery backup for visual and audible alarms. This is an important feature as they will alert everyone along with hard of hearing even if there is a blackout.

It also prevents insects from entering the smoke detecting area as it features an insect screen. While using a smoke detecting alarm for a very long period, dust can appear in the smoke detecting area. This can make the alarm more sensitive.

So this smoke alarm device has an on-site washing program to solve this issue. It also has a wall mount to align in a suitable place.

PROS

  • Easy installation
  • Built-in indicator for low or missing battery
  • Excellent sound frequency
  • Comes with a one-year warranty

CONS

  • Some may not find the sound frequency perfect for waking up

5. BRK 7020BSL


Our Rating:
4/5

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This alarm system from BRK is a combination of both a smoke alarm and strobe lights. This sensor acts upon different levels of smoke depending on the smoke colour and nature. The smoke alarm is backed up with AAA batteries.

The design covers a 360-degree angle for receiving the perfect smoke sensitivity. BRK smoke alarm with integrated strobe light has an installation procedure. The premium mounting of this device gives a suitable alignment.

It's also protected by a dust cover. Batteries can replace even if the alarm is mounted. This is possible with the help of the side load battery section.

For the protection of the device and the batteries, there are two locking features. The device can connect with a wiring harness to AC power. The strobe lights and alarm system makes this device helpful for the people who are struggling with hearing.

PROS

  • Smoke alarm and strobe light integrated into one device
  • Distinguishable flash patterns
  • The powerful strobe light produces 60 flashes in 60 seconds
  • This alarm system also offers ten years of warranty

CONS

  • In the time of power outage, the batteries back up the smoke alarm, but they don't help the strobe lights to work.

How We Decided On Our Winner

In our life, sometimes we neglect people dealing with different disabilities. Loss of hearing leads to challenging situations every day. We must not forget that everyone deserves to be secure and safe.

This article is a meaningful attempt in this issue. There are different kinds of devices for the deaf and hard of hearing.

So, if a resident has a hearing impairment, people tend to give more thought about it. To be fair, these kind of devices will be useful for everyone if it has both a visual and audible alerting system. Pick a device that is suitable for making your home safer in fire hazard situations.

FAQ and Buying Guide

What is the importance of smoke alarms for the hearing impaired?

We already know that conventional smoke alarms are not sufficient for the deaf. So the importance of extra features for deaf and hard of hearing is massive.

When a fire breaks out, everyone panics, and out of this situation, many can forget the disability of a person.

For precaution, this issue should be in mind before installing a smoke alarm. Deaf or not, no one can risk injury or death. Here are some safety tips that can be useful:

  • With age, some people lose the ability to hear high-pitched sounds. The hard of hearing people should use a smoke alarm device that produces mixed and low pitched sounds.
  • The alarming device should be in every section of the house. The devices must interconnect. If one delivers the signal of danger, then every device will follow the signal. It will cut the loss of property and possible injuries.
  • For extra safety, a person should take responsibility for a hard of hearing resident.
  • Sometimes a visual system is the only thing that makes a deaf person know about the situation. So strobe light devices and pillow or bed shakers should be for hearing impaired.
  • Some strobe light colours or patterns can state what kind of danger is happening. After installing, everyone should learn which pattern indicates what type of threat.

What should be the qualities of a suitable smoke alarm?

An all-rounder smoke alarm system can alert everyone along with the hard of hearing. Here are some of the mentionable qualities

Design: The design of the smoke alarm system should allow it to receive and sense smoke or heat from every angle. This will make the system to alert the residents, and it'll also generate more escape time.

Placement: The smoke alarm device should include access to install it in any place. The placement is very sensitive because the placement is important for waking them up. Portability is key in some cases.

Sound frequency flash pattern: The ideal alarm system should produce a low and mixed frequency to wake up a person who has hearing loss. The flash of the strobe light should be bright and powerful to wake up anyone.

A quick flash pattern also plays a vital role in helping waking up anyone. The light should also have the power and angel to reach every corner of a designated area.

Power supply: fire alarms are connected with the designated power source of the home. Sometimes fire hazards can cause power outages. So there should be a backup power supply, which will always help to enable the alarm system.

Fire alarms featuring backup battery power can be a good source for keeping the system normal even if an unexpected blackout occurs. You might be interested to read our article on why smoke detectors start chirping randomly if you're experiencing troubleshooting issues.

To read more about detectors that will improve your home, click here.

OUR WINNER!
UHPPOTE WIRED