Technology has come so far, but it has not touched the smoke alarm industry, and as shown in the video below, something needs to be done, as children are not waking up to the blaring alarm. Most people take it for granted that their homes have an early warning system in place, so that the family can get out in the case of a fire. That early warning system is generally a standard smoke alarm. What doctors are finding, is that children have different sleep patterns which may render the household smoke alarm useless.
Based on the findings of the two families in this video, it is recommended that all families test to see if their children will indeed wake up to the standard smoke alarm. Most experts say that the average time frame a family has to get out of the home safely during a fire is three to five minutes. The test families all told their children that they would be tested on fire safety with a drill, yet none of them woke up to the smoke alarm.
After watching this, many families will want to know what their alternatives are, and there are not a lot of options out there. In the world of ever-changing technology, the smoke alarm has not changed since its inception. There are however, two options that one may want to try out if the children in the house fail to wake to the standard alarm. One is a low-frequency smoke alarm, which are mandatory in commercial building, but is not for sale to the general public, as of yet. The other allows the parent to record their voice, and as shown below it seems to be effective for these families.
The Fire Safety Journal did a study and found that 85% of children from six to seventeen years of age did not wake up during a similar test as the one shown here with the standard smoke alarm. Fire safety is a priority of every fire department in the world, and they continually reach out to their communities to educate people on preventing fires. However, being aware of the effectiveness of the homes existing smoke alarms and whether or not they will actually wake the children, should be something that is shouted from the roof tops as well. Studies have been done for years, with the results glaringly obvious, that a conventional smoke alarm is not waking up kids. Experts ask that parents really look at their lifestyle and whether or not they are willing to take a chance on their ability or their babysitters ability, to get to the kids and get them out safely in the case of a fire.
In these studies, 96% of children woke up to the sound of their parents voice, as compared to 58% to a standard alarm. Now for the enlightening part of the study, which is that 83% of the children that woke to their parents voice, made it out of the house in less than five minutes. Using the standard smoke alarm to wake the children showed only 38% of them got out of the house in less than five minutes. The study showed that with the tone alarm, it took an average of three minutes for the children to wake up and get moving. Using the parents voice, it took an average of 20 seconds for the children to wake up and get moving. Experts say that every family with children should add the testing of the smoke alarms ability to wake up the children in addition to practicing their escape plan.
by Kristi Cereska