I was at an elderly friend's house the other day when the smoke alarm went off. It was quite loud and I reacted instantly to the noise. My friend, a former Army marksman in his 70's, who's suffering from profound high frequency hearing loss, heard nothing!!!
Then I started looking around for alarms that used lower frequency sounders but the only thing I could find were specially converted smoke detectors that cost $300!!!!
I'm wondering why COTS alarms operate at such a high sound frequency, especially when it's well known that older adults lose their high frequency hearing first. I have been thinking of just unsoldering the Sonalert sounders in low priced alarms and replacing them with lower frequency sounders, but that could compromise the detector's ability to sense smoke if the replacement sounder has sufficiently different electrical characteristics.
Does anyone know of a *reasonably* priced smoke detector whose sounder is audible to people with high frequency hearing loss? I'd like to buy a couple of such detectors for him, but the price on the only unit I've found would bring the bill to over $1200 for four detectors, and that's just unreasonable. I know what goes into making a smoke detector and 10x the cost of the parts still wouldn't bring the price that high.
The idea that smokes use sounders that can't be heard by a lot of elderly people seems pretty unreasonable to me as well.
Surely someone out there makes a smoke detector or combo smoke/CO detector (even better) that makes a sound people with typical hearing loss could hear a little better.
BTW, we can skip flashing light smoke detectors. BT, DT, GTS! He's got a phone ringer/flasher that he never hears or sees. The unit's flasher can't really be seen in daytime easily and the electronic ringer again uses a tone in the 5000Hz and above range and is inaudible to him. FWIW, based on some simple tests I did with CoolEdit, a PC program that allows you to create any audible tone, he can hear most stuff below 4000Hz. Yes he has a hearing aid but no, he does not sleep with it in.
Thanks in advance for your help.
-- Bobby G.