A man fits a fire alarm

Staying Safe with Hearing Loss

Staying safe in the home is a top concern as we grow older. Although most of our fears are unfounded, a few basic precautions are just a smart way to consider the possibility of a risky situation. Indeed, though it is a relatively unlikely event, preparing for a fire or other household emergency is a simple step you can take to bring peace of mind in the present and possibly lifesaving help should something happen. One of the best ways to protect yourself against the threat of a fire is to make sure your alarm system is in place.

Those with hearing loss need to take extra steps to have an effective alarm system in the home. As we know, all homes are required by law to have smoke detectors in place. These devices can be lifesaving, simple units, notifying you of a potential hazard before it becomes a serious problem. Some house fires spread quickly, so acting fast in response to a smoke alarm is essential to your safety and the preservation of your home and belongings. Yet, what happens if a smoke alarm goes off and you are unable to hear it? A few simple steps will make it possible to alert yourself to a fire in the home even with hearing loss.

Additional Alarms

In the event of a fire, hearing the alarm is essential to give you time to get out of the house. If you are hard of hearing or have hearing loss, one thing you can do is to install extra smoke alarms in more parts of the house. These devices are relatively inexpensive, and they can be effective for those with mild hearing loss when you are in close range. At least make sure that you have one detector on each floor of your house, and more may be necessary in a bigger home. The more detectors you have installed, the more likely it will be that you are nearby when something happens.

Check the Batteries

Smoke detectors are only effective when they are powered up! Take the opportunity each month to go through your house and press the “test” button on each unit. It will only take a few minutes to make sure the devices are functional. If you find one that is out of service, have a battery in hand to replace it. Most smoke alarms send out a signal when the battery is getting low. Rather than ignoring that signal or even taking out the battery and setting it down, be sure to keep a few batteries on hand so that you can replace the battery as soon as that indicator sound goes off. And, of course, make sure you don’t use the battery from the smoke detector for another appliance, toy, or unit and then forget to replace it!

Seek Hearing Assistance

For those with hearing loss, the best preventative measure will be to get hearing assistance, making sure that any alert will be heard and that you can take action immediately. For many people, hearing aids are part of the solution. If you are in the habit of wearing hearing aids at home throughout the day, you will have a better chance of hearing the smoke detector. However, most people do not wear hearing aids at night. It is even recommended by most manufacturers to give your ears a break at night rather than wearing them. It is quite common for a fire in the home to occur at night, and the source of the fire may be a neighbor or adjoining unit. For these reasons, additional alert systems can be purchased that coordinate with assistive technology. The range of these devices is quite astonishing, some of them coordinating with your smartphone or other alert systems. Some of these devices vibrate, and others have a very bright flashing light that might even rouse you from sleep.

Pacific Hearing Care

Have you experienced changes in your hearing? Do you think you could benefit from hearing assistance? Contact us today at Pacific Hearing Care. We provide comprehensive hearing health services, from hearing tests to hearing aid fittings. We can also recommend useful assistive listening devices to complement hearing treatment solutions.