If you’re deaf or hearing impaired—or if you’re a caregiver for someone hard of hearing—you know that setting up your home in a safe and secure manner is of utmost importance. In the case of an emergency, technology and devices that allow you to react and respond quickly can make a huge difference.
So, what are the must-haves to ensure a safe home? Keep reading and we’ll dive into what you need to know.
The Right Smoke Detector and/or Fire Alarm
One of the most important devices for anyone to have in their home is a smoke detector and/or fire alarm. Combined with our other fire safety must-haves, these devices go a long way in keeping you safe in the event of a fire in your home.
However, keep in mind that most conventional smoke alarms work by alerting residents with a loud noise. People that are deaf or hearing impaired, on the other hand, will need devices with additional methods of alerting them about a fire, such as vibrating fixtures or visual indicators like strobe lights. You can also shop for fire alarms that connect with your smart home setup, to alert you on your phone.
Remember, also, that as we age our ability to hear high-pitched noises decreases a bit. Even if you or your loved one only have mild hearing loss, it’s best to err on the side of caution. Look for devices that use a mixed or lower-pitched sound, and make sure the one you choose has been tested by a recognized testing laboratory. Well-known manufacturers include BRK Electronics, Gentex Corporation, Kidde Fire Safety, and Menards, Inc. Finally, don’t forget to test your alarms regularly and replace them as needed.
Home Sprinkler Systems & Other Fire Safety Equipment
In addition to the right fire alarms, consider some of the other fire safety devices and equipment you can purchase and install.
These may include:
- A home sprinkler system, which can both alert you and help extinguish fires
- Fire extinguishers on every level of your home, especially near bedrooms and the kitchen area
- Fire blankets designed to suffocate smaller fires; these are good to keep in your car and garage as well
Home Security Networks
A solid home security network is also important for the deaf and hearing impaired. Installing a security system is your first line of defense against intruders; in fact, 83% of burglars check if there is an alarm before invading a home. When paired with a smart home setup, you can then get immediate notifications if motion is detected. Top-of-the-line home security systems these days include Nest Secure, Ring Alarm, SimpliSafe, and ecobee Haven.
Medical Alert Bracelets or Similar Devices/Apps
For people that are hard of hearing and also have a chronic medical condition, a medical alert bracelet is a great way to ensure they get the help they need during an emergency. Medical alert bracelets may include information like the conditions the person has, medications they’re on, or ICE (in case of emergency) numbers.
This isn’t the only way to share this kind of information, though. Emergency and medical alert apps, like Rescu, can quickly help those who may have trouble communicating.
Stay Safe with Rescu
Calling 9-1-1 is the first step with any emergency, whether it’s an intruder entering your home, a fire, or a medical situation. Although it’s an easy step for many, it’s that much more difficult for the deaf and hearing impaired. While TTY phones are an option, alternatives like Rescu allow for a much faster response time.
With Rescu, you or your loved one can store all of the most important information directly within the app: your address, medical information (e.g. diabetic, deaf, heart condition, etc.), and dispatch instructions (including gate codes, entry location, and pets). With just two taps, you can quickly dispatch police, ambulance assistance, or the fire department, all without saying a word. They’ll get access to all of the information they need, and the app also sends an alert to your emergency contacts to keep them in the loop. It’s the fastest, easiest, and most reliable way to get help when you need it most.
Learn more about how Rescu helps the hearing impaired, as the fastest way to dispatch emergency responders–no talking or texting required. Find us on the App Store and Google Play, with plans for as little as $7/month.