We’ve been trained to evacuate a building when the alarm, horns, and strobes sound during a fire event. Ideally you would respond as soon as you hear the audible device, but what happens if you’re sleeping and unable to react right away? What if you’re hard-of-hearing?
Recent studies conducted by the NFPA 72 committee and the FPRF found that many high-risk groups exhibited a delayed response when audible devices went into alarm. Some high-risk groups also had a delayed response to the usual 3 Kilo-hertz tone found in many smoke alarms and audible devices. In some cases, high-risk groups, such as individuals with mild to severe hearing loss or those under the influence of sleeping aids or alcohol, had a delayed response with the higher frequency tones.
Research shows that audible devices with a lower frequency, 520 Hz, were more effective at waking impaired individuals. These impaired individuals are the aforementioned people with mild to severe hearing loss or those under the influence of sleeping aids or alcohol. Increasing the notification effectiveness in this application increases the chances of prompt evacuation during an emergency.
Be sure to check back on the Fire-Lite Blog for the next part of this series!
About the Author
Rebecca Peterson is a Sr. Product Marketing Manager for the AV business unit of System Sensor. Rebecca has been with System Sensor for 13 years and her primary focus on new product development and voice of the customer on products that customers need and want.