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#127292 - 03/14/08 02:24 PM Fire alarms do not get kids out of bed!!!!
Dan_McI Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 12/10/07
Posts: 844
Loc: NYC
I was emailed a rather disturbing video of a news report.

The news report is a story on fire alarms not waking up children. In essence, the alarm may stir a child from sleep, but they do not get out of bed.

The news story has a different alarm set up at the end that uses the voice of the childrens parent telling them that they need to get up and get out of bed.

If you want to see some websites that have some information on it, take a look at:

http://techdirt.com/articles/20061002/135421.shtml

http://www.channel3000.com/family/9150907/detail.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fWX5uZ9yR5Y

http://www.wvdhhr.org/echp/articles/kids_sleep_through_firealarms.pdf

I would be happy to send it to anyone that wants to see it via email. However, I think the links above pretty much cover it. I don't have any kids, yet, but for those who do, this is something I think you might want to consider. At the very least, you might think about testing whether your kids will get out of bed when an alarm goes off.

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#127302 - 03/14/08 04:34 PM Re: Fire alarms do not get kids out of bed!!!! [Re: Dan_McI]
haertig Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/13/05
Posts: 2014
Loc: Colorado
I think the last thing any parent would do is hear the fire alarm, get out of the house, and leave the kids to fend for themselves. You work together to make sure everyone is safe. I dare say most parents would charge right into a flaming room to get their kids out, contrary to all fire department recommendations.

I know my wife and I bolt out of the bed for even the chirp of a low battery alert, let alone a full going off of the thing. My daughter gets out of bed and yells "Shut that thing off!" My son stays in his bed, unless it's the one in his bedroom that's going off. We have detectors in every bedroom, every hallway, every shared living area (familyroom, livingroom, office, etc.), and in the basement and in the garage. We have upstairs and downstairs CO detectors as well. A fire in our house, while devastating, would probably be anything BUT quiet!

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#127311 - 03/14/08 05:08 PM Re: Fire alarms do not get kids out of bed!!!! [Re: haertig]
Dan_McI Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 12/10/07
Posts: 844
Loc: NYC
haertig, I agree.

It seems there is not much of an issue with your alarm waking your daughter.

However, I can also easily imagine instances when parents would be unable to do so or not at home. Some of the children in one thing I saw were close to teenage, so they might be left at home alone for some short periods. Also, children that get up and get out on their own would make it easier to get everyone out.

I'm not going to tell anyone what to do, but it is information worth thinking about. I think the right first step for most might be to try it and see what their kids do. If the children are like your daughter, there is not a problem.


Edited by Dan_McI (03/14/08 05:08 PM)

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#127317 - 03/14/08 05:45 PM Re: Fire alarms do not get kids out of bed!!!! [Re: Dan_McI]
haertig Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/13/05
Posts: 2014
Loc: Colorado
I think the best would be to have all the smoke detectors coupled together, so when one goes off, they all do. That amount of noise would get even my son (18 years old) out of bed. Many new homes may be built that way now-a-days. Mine isn't - all my detectors are stand-alones, going off independently. So my solution was just to have a lot of separate detectors and pray for the best: 11 smoke, and 2 CO in my house.

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#127324 - 03/14/08 06:18 PM Re: Fire alarms do not get kids out of bed!!!! [Re: haertig]
dougwalkabout Offline
Crazy Canuck
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 2704
Loc: Alberta, Canada
I recall a TV program on this topic. One interesting feature was a smoke detector that alternated between the alarm and a short recording of a parent's voice. The logic was that a child was much more likely to respond to the sounds of the mother's voice instructing him/her to wake up, get out of bed and get out of the house.

Interesting idea. Not sure if that product actually got to market.

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#127325 - 03/14/08 06:28 PM Re: Fire alarms do not get kids out of bed!!!! [Re: haertig]
Arney Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 2485
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: haertig
I think the best would be to have all the smoke detectors coupled together, so when one goes off, they all do.

I bought some wireless smoke alarms like this for my elderly parents. My sister and her husband live upstairs and my parents live downstairs. I bought these at Home Depot, I believe. Just set some switches inside both units to pick a particular combination for your house, and whenever one goes off, the other one does, too. A bit more expensive, but worth it. And battery powered, so no need to do any wiring work.

Another application for this in my house is between smoke detectors far from our bedroom or in places where the sound won't travel, like the attic space over our garage. It's very hard to hear sounds from the garage in the house, but if that smoke detector goes off, the detectors in the living areas go off.

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#127327 - 03/14/08 06:40 PM Re: Fire alarms do not get kids out of bed!!!! [Re: Arney]
Hacksaw
Unregistered


I know this is horrible but my fire alarm has gone off dozens of times in the past 3 years (in my condo building) and only once was there a real fire. Some weekends it would go off every 30 minutes. It's gotten to the point where I don't leave the building until I see the fire trucks pull up. If the fire fighters are in a hurry, so am I...if they get out of their truck like they're getting ready to go buy doughnuts, I know it's another false alarm and wait for them to shut it off.

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#127334 - 03/14/08 08:07 PM Re: Fire alarms do not get kids out of bed!!!! [Re: haertig]
Susan Offline
Geezer

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
A guy I work with got those parent-voice alarms when he discovered that his kids never even woke up to the regular smoke alarm.

"I think the last thing any parent would do is hear the fire alarm, get out of the house, and leave the kids to fend for themselves. "

Sorry, but this is the kind of thinking that gets kids injured and killed regularly.

You are NOT going to be right beside all of your kids every minute of every day.

In this case think Babysitters. In my experience, most parents (not all, but most) seem to select their babysitters with less care than they do a pair of socks. They go with either the closest or the cheapest. That tends to be the 12+ girl from down the street.

So, what if the Don'tHearIt Syndrome applies to the teenaged sitter? Are you going to pick up from your theatre seat that your home smoke alarm is going off? If your ESP does kick in, are you going to rush right home through the crowd that is leaving the stadium and get the kids out of your house, an hour away with light traffic?

Come on, folks, get real! You're on this site to deal with real life under all conditions, not just the ones you pick and choose.

Sue

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#127345 - 03/14/08 08:36 PM Re: Fire alarms do not get kids out of bed!!!! [Re: haertig]
celler Offline
Addict

Registered: 12/25/03
Posts: 410
Loc: Jupiter, FL
Originally Posted By: haertig
I think the best would be to have all the smoke detectors coupled together, so when one goes off, they all do.


The building code requires that down here in Florida where I live. My house built in 1999 has them all wired together. When you hold down the test button for one, within 5 seconds, all of them are going off. It would wake the dead.

Craig.

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#127348 - 03/14/08 09:04 PM Re: Fire alarms do not get kids out of bed!!!! [Re: Susan]
haertig Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/13/05
Posts: 2014
Loc: Colorado
Originally Posted By: Susan
"I think the last thing any parent would do is hear the fire alarm, get out of the house, and leave the kids to fend for themselves. "

Sorry, but this is the kind of thinking that gets kids injured and killed regularly.


That was just a comment on my part, not a suggestion of any kind. What would you suggest beyond what I've already done (smoke detector in every bedroom, every hallway, and common living areas)?

I wouldn't rule out a "parent voice" smoke detector. I'd be skeptical of additional benefit from them them without further research into their effectiveness, but I wouldn't rule them out at this point. I don't think I put my kids at greater than normal risk by installing many detectors, teaching everybody how to get out on their own, but also acknowledging the fact that you'd do your best to make sure the rest of your family was accounted for before you exited yourself.

I don't quite get where you're going talking about my "thinking". Sorry if I'm missing your point.

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