Top Smoke Detector Alarms for Hearing Loss

Find out everything about top smoke detector alarms for hearing loss, their types, characteristics, different options and more. Click here to read all!

Molly Glass
Molly Glass
Top Smoke Detector Alarms for Hearing Loss

In an emergency, it’s vital to be informed. Read on for the best accessible smoke alarms on the market.

Smoke detectors alert residents to smoke and the possibility of fire nearby. These alarms are important to have in every residence, as they reduce the chance of death by a house fire by 55%, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Because  mainstream alarms use a loud high-frequency noise, they are not usable and designed for deaf and hard of hearing individuals. 

Types of Accessible Alarms

For the deaf and hard of hearing, there are different types of alarms to choose from depending on your needs. 

Low-frequency Smoke Alarms

For the hard of hearing, many alarms use a high-frequency noise that is out of their hearing range. A way around it is to use a low-frequency smoke detector. It is essential to test that it is audible to the user before installing it. Also, test annually, as many forms of hearing loss are progressive. 

One low-frequency alarm with many positive reviews is the Kidde Smoke Detector with Safety Light for Hearing Impaired. Alerts are at 85 decibels and light up when the alert is deployed. Other features include:

  • Battery powered
  • 10-year warranty 
  • Hush button for false alarms
  • Easy to install
  • $15.99

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Strobe Light Alarms

For those who are severely or profoundly deaf, a strobe light would be preferable over an auditory alert. A brand widely used in the deaf community is First Alert BRK 7020BSL Hardwired Hearing Impaired Smoke Detector with LED Strobe Light. Some features include:

  • Powered by battery and wire
  • Different flash patterns for smoke or carbon monoxide
  • Strobe intensity of 177 candelas
  • Multiple units will flash in unison 
  • $99

Strobe Light + Vibrating Alarms

Another option is to use a transmitter with mainstream alarms. A transmitter picks up specific audio and then alerts the light flashers or under-bed vibrators. One brand is Lifetone HLAC151 Bedside Vibrating Fire Alarm and Clock, available from suppliers of specialized equipment such as Diglo (formerly Harris Communications). Some features of this device include:

  • Portable, easy to travel with
  • Compatible with T3 smoke detectors
  • Sound, voice, vibration, and LED alert options
  • Battery Operated
  • 2-year warranty
  • $239.95

Smart Alarms

A smart alarm may be a good choice if you are a heavy smartphone user. The most highly rated and popular one on the market is the Google Nest Protect, with thousands of five-star reviews. While it gives out a voice alert, it sends a smartphone notification simultaneously. Some features include:

  • Detects both slow and fast-burning fires
  • 10-year warranty 
  • Can disable alerts from phone
  • Doubles as a motion detector nightlight 
  • Detects carbon monoxide
  • $139 on Amazon

Obtaining Smoke Alarms

Most of these alarms can be purchased on mainstream stores or e-commerce websites such as Amazon, Best Buy, etc. Others may be more specialized and from a specific manufacturer. If finances are an obstacle to obtaining a detector, there is also an option to contact your state’s vocational rehabilitation center. Most centers can provide equipment to the deaf and hard of hearing at low cost or for free. 

Detection While Traveling

A person stretches while sitting on a hotel bed.

Staying at Hotels

The third title of the ADA requires hotels, motels, and other lodging facilities to make their buildings accessible to disabled people. When making a reservation, ask if they have a “Deaf kit.” This box of diverse equipment can be used in your room, such as a TTY, strobe smoke detector, and vibrating alarm clock

Cruise Ships

Many cruise lines now have dedicated rooms for the deaf and hard of hearing with preinstalled equipment such as accessible smoke detectors. If one of these rooms is unavailable, a room kit should be available when requested during booking. 


Whether you’re deaf or hard of hearing, many options are available to suit your specific needs. From low-frequency alarms to strobe and vibrating or smartphone alerts, you will find one for your home. Regardless of whether you are at home or traveling, prioritize safety and ensure you have accessible alert systems. Your life is worth it!

Molly Glass
Molly Glass

Molly, a Deaf mom of two CODAs, lives with her hearing partner of almost 14 years in the scenic Blue Ridge mountains of Virginia. Profoundly Deaf since 18 months old, she enjoys writing about the lived Deaf experiences and advocacy. In her free time she reads, and is very slowly working on authoring her first book.

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