S.C. program offers ‘bed shaker’ smoke alarms for hearing impaired

Fire Alarm Bed Shakers

CONWAY, S.C. (WMBF) - Most people rely on a smoke alarm to help get to safety during a fire. But for some, standard smoke alarms aren’t enough.

According to Fire Safe South Carolina, more than 750,000 South Carolinians can’t hear a traditional smoke alarm. That’s why the organization is offering a program to install a special type of alert system for those who are deaf or hard of hearing.

It’s called a bed shaker, and it’s specifically designed to alert those who are hearing impaired should a fire break out while they’re asleep. The device actively listens for an alerting smoke alarm in your home. When the standard alarm sounds off, the system flashes a bright light and vibrates to physically alert sleepers to shake them awake.

“It actually works off of, hears an audible sound from a normal fire alarm which sets off a flashing light, and it also actually has a device that will shake your bed. If a resident is deaf or hearing impaired, it will alert them of a fire," said Jeremy Carter, the assistant fire chief with the Conway Fire Department.

A single unit can run upwards of $200, but through the program, those who live in South Carolina can now get the life-saving technology free of cost.

To become eligible for the program, residents will have to complete an application and get a medical certification. For more information on how to apply, click here.

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