by Neil Bauman, Ph.D.
Here in the United States a house catches fire every 74 seconds! That’s scary. Even more scary for those of us who have hearing losses is the fact that most fires occur at night when we are sleeping, and our hearing aids and cochlear implants are also peacefully “sleeping” on our bed tables beside us. Thus we often cannot hear the smoke detector blaring its warning to us from our bedroom ceilings.
This happened to Harold Waterer and his girlfriend Heather a few months ago. Because they were deaf, neither heard the smoke detector warning them their trailer had caught fire. Tragically both died in the fire because they failed to provide for themselves the “gift of life”.
Fire is not the only danger to which we are exposed. Carbon monoxide is an insidious killer that can silently sneak up on us and snuff out our lives while we sleep because again our hearing aids and cochlear implants are reposing on the bed table. Thus, we do not hear our CO detector’s shrill warning of impending doom.
This happened to the Mazins just two years ago. Blair and Anita Mazin both had severe hearing losses. They had come home one evening and somehow forgot to turn the ignition off when they parked their car in the garage under their townhouse.
The carbon monoxide from the car’s exhaust eventually seeped into their bedroom and snuffed out their lives while they slept. They were totally oblivious to their CO detector futilely screaming its warning to them. Tragically, they too failed to give themselves the “gift of life”.
If you live in “Tornado Alley” a tornado may sweep through your neighborhood, but you may never know it because you can’t hear the weather warning blaring from your NOAA weather radio. Instead of immediately taking shelter in your basement, you may become another tragic statistic on the next newscast if you fail to give yourself the “gift of life”.
What Is the “Gift of Life”?
Just what is this “gift of life”? The “gift of life” I am referring to are alerting systems that are designed specifically to truly meet the needs of hard of hearing and deaf people. Too many alerting systems just give “token alerts” that are often missed—for example, the ineffective flashing lights I’ve seen on many door knockers and smoke detectors.
In contrast, “gift of life” alerting systems are designed to waken you—not only by sounding a loud alarm, but also by flashing a bright light and shaking your bed. It is almost impossible to sleep through this triple whammy assaulting three of your senses (hearing, seeing and feeling) at the same time. When working properly, these wonderful alerting systems can give you the “gift of life”—alerting you in time to escape with your life.
Not only do these alerting systems alert you to life-threatening situations, they also make your life as a hard of hearing person easier—alerting you when your phone rings, when someone is at the door, when the baby is crying in the back bedroom, if grandpa just fell out of bed and needs help, or even if a burglar is breaking into your house.
Intriqued? Want to know a good “gift of life” system? If so, read the rest of this article (it’s too long for this eZine). Among other things you’ll learn the four key features you should look for in a “gift of life” system. Click here and give yourself the “gift of life”!