1 minute readDisaster, Home Fire
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A Better Night’s Sleep With a Special Smoke Alarm

Editor’s note: This post originally appeared on the American Red Cross Colorado blog. Photos and story by volunteer Walt Palmer.

Justin has his new smoke alarm set and ready to go.

Justin Israel sleeps on his left side, mostly, but frequently switches to his right side. It makes little difference in his life.

His brother sleeps on his right side, because when he switches to his left side (which he frequently does when he is asleep) he enters a world of silence.

Justin and his brother are both hearing-impaired. Justin completely, his brother on his right side.

It’s a big concern for their mother, Robyn Carr, because her two teenaged boys could not hear a regular smoke alarm if it went off at night while they slept.

Robyn’s father was also deaf, and she remembers that he had no technology to assist him with living his life. Now, she has to worry about her sons. She really appreciates the technology available to those who need it today.

“I have tried for years to get an alarm that would work for them,” she said. “I want to thank the Red Cross for making our lives safer.”

I met Robyn and Justin as part of a Red Cross team that was installing a special smoke alarm in their apartment. The alarm, the “Lifetone HL”, works by vibrating the bed to wake the occupant.

Robyn and Justin hold the new smoke alarm
at their home in Colorado Springs.

At 17, Justin was all over the technology side of things. Installation is very straightforward, and the alarm works with others already in the apartment. In a matter of minutes, Justin was testing it to make sure it was going to wake him in an emergency. He took a brief aside to actually set the built in alarm clock and put it next to his bed.

The Red Cross has documented more than 230 lives saved through our Home Fire Campaign. Our goal is to reduce home fire-related deaths and injuries by 25 percent. We do that by installing smoke alarms in homes. The alarms and installation are absolutely free – just call your local Red Cross and ask about a smoke alarm.

For more information about the Home Fire Campaign and fire safety, visit our website.