Safety is a high priority concern for anyone, regardless of hearing ability. Driving safely, being aware of your surroundings and emergency preparedness are all things that many of us focus on, but it’s also so important to make sure you’re protected from the silent killer, carbon monoxide. Those with hearing loss once had to rely on others to stay safe, but, thanks to advances in technology over recent years, there are now a variety of specialized devices that can help the hearing impaired avoid deadly carbon monoxide.
What is carbon monoxide?
Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas that can be produced by cars, trucks, stoves, fireplaces and furnaces as a byproduct of the fuel-burning process. Unfortunately, it is a silent killer that only makes its presence known by the symptoms it causes or by the alert of a carbon monoxide detector. Carbon monoxide can cause headaches, dizziness, vomiting, confusion and, when not detected in time, even death.
This is why it is vital to have a device in place at home that can alert to the presence of carbon monoxide, especially during the colder months when heaters are often running in the home.
Carbon monoxide detectors for the hard of hearing
As with so many things, these days, carbon monoxide detectors have advanced to offer more choices than ever with even more people in mind. That includes those with hearing loss. Carbon monoxide detectors (often paired with smoke detectors) like these are designed primarily with the deaf or hard of hearing in mind:
- Strobe alert detectors – These specialty carbon monoxide detectors alert residents to the gas with an exceptionally bright flashing strobe light. They vary in price but can be found at most retailers.
- Vibrating detectors – Also specially designed with the deaf and hard of hearing in mind, this style of carbon monoxide detector will physically shake the bed or pillow when it detects carbon monoxide.
- Detectors with increased volume or varying tone – Depending on the hearing loss diagnosis and amount of hearing loss, some models of carbon monoxide detectors with a louder or varied tone may be appropriate.
- For those who already have an alerting system in their home, there may be options to add on sound-detection that can alert you with a loud sound, vibration or a flashing alert when a standard carbon monoxide detector or smoke detector goes off. In these cases, be aware that the correct positioning of devices is crucial.
Carbon monoxide isn’t the only safety concern in your home. For this reason, some carbon monoxide detectors are paired with smoke detectors. If you are purchasing just a carbon monoxide detector, be sure to have a specialty smoke detector, designed for those who are deaf or hard-of-hearing, installed too.
The bottom line on carbon monoxide detectors
There are several options to choose from when it comes to carbon monoxide detectors, but whichever one you choose, follow these tips to ensure they are functioning well when you need them:
- Install carbon monoxide and smoke detectors outside each bedroom and any area of the home that is frequently used such as the kitchen.
- Set reminders to replace batteries at least twice per year, in the spring and fall.
- Carbon monoxide and smoke detectors won’t last forever. Plan to replace them every five years. Don’t find out the hard way that they’re no longer working.
Protect yourself and your home with the right devices. If you haven’t already, now is the time to install a carbon monoxide detector for the deaf and hard of hearing.