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Smoke alarm for kids: Now you're talking!



Published: Mon, October 23, 2006 @ 12:00 a.m.



A new type of smoke alarm aims to help kids escape a fire.

By JEANNE STARMACK

VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER

CANFIELD -- It's almost time again to turn back time.

And with that yearly turning back of the clocks comes the reminder to change your smoke-alarm batteries.

Make sure those alarms are working properly, and if you don't have one on every level of your house -- well, you should, said Don Hutchison, deputy chief of the Cardinal Joint Fire District.

Actually, you might want to take advantage of a special deal the fire district is promoting in conjunction with Oct. 29th's turning back of the clocks.

Get yourself a flier from the fire district and head out to the Do-Cut True Value store at U.S. Route 224 and Raccoon Road.

There, you'll be able to get a discount on batteries when you show your flier. If you need a new smoke alarm, a traditional model that sells for around $7 will cost you $4.50 with the flier.

One for the kids

Nontraditionalists, though, can save $5 on a normally $30 smoke alarm. This version doesn't wail off with one of those high-pitched "eeeeeeeeeeee" sounds that can make your ears ache.

This alarm talks instead -- to your kids. If there's a fire at your house, the alarm will tell your kids to wake up, using your own voice in a recording that issues calm but firm commands:

"Wake up! This is Mommy. There's a fire in the house. Let's go! Remember our escape plan. Let's meet outside by the mailbox."

The fire district is recommending the vocal smoke alarm for parents. It was developed after studies showed that kids ages 5 through 15 will not hear a traditional alarm in the first few hours of sleep, Hutchison said.

Even if a traditional detector does wake a child, the risk is that fear will freeze him in his bed until someone comes to tell him what to do, Hutchison said.

A recorded message from a parent is much more likely to get him to act.

Help with installation

Canfield city and township residents, which the Cardinal fire district serves, can get help from the district if they need it when it comes time to install their detectors.

People who want fliers or more information should call the fire district at (330) 533-4316. Fliers will be available at both fire stations, on Lisbon Street and Messerly Road, and at the municipal offices on Lisbon Street. They will also be available at the store.




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