Student Safety as a Priority
How can we ensure students attending universities and colleges around the country are safe? Strobe light fire alarms are currently in place in many dormitories; however recent studies prove that these alarms can be ineffective at awakening or capturing the attention of hard of hearing students. Specifically, the study finds that strobe light alarms are not reliable for awakening someone that is hard of hearing. Further, students with normal hearing that are under the influence of alcohol die every year due to sleeping through their fire alarms. The solution is a lower pitched 520 Hz alarm, shown by scientific research to be the most effective sound, plus a vibrating bed shaker for those that are hard of hearing.
We like the fact that the HLAC can hear all the alarms in the house, even in the basement. It is better and less expensive than having a strobe alarm in every room. The HLAC is also a loud wake up alarm clock, and the bed shaker is impossible to ignore when it is time to get up.
More than 70% of hard of hearing adults have been found to sleep through a strobe light that was compliant with current standards.
There is convincing evidence that combining a low frequency square wave with a tactile (vibrating) device provides additional waking effectiveness. The Lifetone HLAC does this.
In one study 16% of the participants with normal hearing slept through a 3100 Hz pure tone at 95 dBA, while none slept through a 520 Hz square wave signal at 95 dBA, the sound used by the Lifetone HLAC.
Current research shows that the most effective way to wake anyone is with the 520 Hz square wave tone and the tactile bed shaker used by the Lifetone HLAC.
* Bruck, D., & Thomas, I. (2007). Waking Effectiveness of Alarms. The Fire Protection Research Foundation, 4(2), 15-27
* Thomas, I. & Bruck, D. (2010) Awakening of Sleeping People: A Decade of Research. Fire Technology 46(3), 743-761
* Bruck, D. & Thomas, I. (2008) Towards a better smoke alarm signal – an evidence based approach. Fire Safety Science 9: 403-414.
Would the high-pitched smoke alarm that triggers the HLAC in this video wake up a fatigued student?
* Note: Small speakers in laptops and tablets may render the audible alarm at a slightly higher pitch than 520Hz, and the sound level will not be as loud as the HLAC actually is (85 dB at 3 ft. is really loud).
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