Standard smoke detectors aren't dependable in alerting children to a home fire, as children may not wake to the sound of a traditional battery-powered smoke detector's alarm. In recent years, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has stated that voice alarms, like the Kidde Wireless System, may be more reliable at waking children under age 16 who may sleep more deeply than adults.
Children, along with older adults, face the highest risks of dying or being injured in a fire--a factor that should drive smoke detector selection when planning fire protection for your family. Consider these additional statistics regarding children and smoke detectors:
- Children under age 10 account for 22 percent of all home fire deaths. (US Fire Administration)
- Fires and burns are the leading cause of unintentional home injury deaths for children ages 1-14. (Home Safety Council)
- Studies show that 94 percent of children ages 6-10 awoke to a voice warning smoke alarm, and 96 percent of children ages 6-10 awoke to a smoke alarm that had a lower frequency signal. (The Effectiveness of Different Alarms in Waking Sleeping Children)
The CPSC suggests that alternative alarm cues, such as a voice, may break through a child's arousal suppression more efficiently than the standard tone of a smoke detector's alarm. Additionally, an interconnected smoke detector in the bedroom may wake a caregiver sooner, giving them more time to retrieve and assist children in exiting the home.
One such option is the Kidde Wireless System, which offers fire protection for your family by linking smoke alarms so that when one sounds, they all sound. The system also enables caregivers to install a Kidde SmokeSounder in a loved one's bedroom to provide additional warning. Equipped with a loud voice module, the SmokeSounder is triggered by a wireless smoke alarm and clearly states, "Danger, Fire! Wake Up! Follow the escape plan!" followed by a beeping alert specifically set at a lower frequency. Installing such a smoke detector system is a way to provide trustworthy fire protection for your children and entire family.