There are many advantages to luring burly fire officers into your home. Not least is the fact that they know precisely where smoke alarms should be fitted. It's not general advice. It's based upon an expert eye being cast over the dimensions of your house and the units being placed for maximum protection.
Our smoke alarms are like any others, but for one vital feature. They are Wi-Fi enabled. At the center of my house is a staircase. We have two detectors. Each are fixed to the ceiling - one at the foot of the stairs and the other at the top.
I know exactly what would happen in the event of a fire, because I participate in Test It Tuesday. As with any smoke detector, it emits a shrill sound. The hearing people would know immediately that it is time to get out now and invite those nice fire officers to pay a return visit.
During the daytime, this holds true for me too. No partial deafness is going to stop me hearing something that loud!
There is more acute danger for me, when I'm snug in my bed at night. Lying on my left side, I can't hear pneumatic drills outside my window. I probably slept through a significant amount of time, while the carbon monoxide detector was urgently trying to tell me something. I would easily sleep through a smoke alarm. But not in my house.
Whatever happens with either of those ceiling smoke alarms is being conveyed via Wi-Fi to the receiver box in my bedroom.
If that audible alarm is sounding, then this unit will be flashing lights. It might look quite small, but it is bright. It is enough to make my whole bedroom look as if an alien spaceship is trying to land. Or maybe that was a dream...?
Just in case a powerful light show isn't enough to stir me from my slumber, the receiver has one more trick up its mechanical sleeve. The white cable leading from it is attached to a disc-like pad, which is slotted under my pillow. (At least the fire officers placed it there. After a few nights of it sliding about and banging against the chest of drawers, I secured it in place under the valance sheet too.)
The disc vibrates. It's not a small, polite, self-effacing kind of shaking. It renders the entire mattress trembling like there's a minor earthquake and I'm at ground zero. I defy anyone to sleep through that, especially when your eyes, opening wide in shock, are going to notice the whole room flashing with lights.
This is just one system targeting the home safety of the hearing impaired. Other models can be linked up to the electrical mains. They would cause every light in the house to flash on and off. Others produce strobe lighting and/or vibrating pads for various items of furniture. It is always best to take advice from the fire service, in order to match the most appropriate alarm with the deaf individual.
Of course, nothing bad will ever happen to any of us. Ever. But just on the off-chance that I'm wrong, then it is better to be ready to give yourself, your family and any house guests the greatest chance of survival. Call your local fire brigade and see what they can offer now, to prevent them from having to deal with much worse later.