Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Palm Beach County firefighters install innovative smoke alarms for the deaf

July 07, 2011 6:14 PM

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. -- Smoke alarms save lives, but those who are deaf or hard of hearing cannot depend on the sound of a regular smoke detector to alert them to a fire.

That is why Palm Beach County fire rescue will soon be installing special smoke alarms for hundreds of people. This week the department was awarded a $949,000 grant by the Department of Homeland Security to provide about 15,000 special smoke detectors to people who are deaf.

The Lifetone alarms not only wake people with hearing loss, they also shake the bed while they are sleeping.

"It will interpret the sound of smoke alarm plus it will flash fire so they know there's a fire in the house and that will help them get out quickly," said Gerri Penney, Palm Beach County Fire Rescue.

The grant also provides money for a sleep study to find out what wakes someone who is deaf or hard of hearing.

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