Bedside fire alarm and shaker sounds the alarm for hearing and impaired

Published: Nov. 17, 2023 at 6:05 PM EST
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WAUSEON, Ohio (WTVG) - Officials at the Wauseon Fire Department are sounding the alarm on a device they say can be a lifesaver.

“I tell ya, it did go off once on me and I was on the floor in a second,” said Butch Huffman, who lives alone in Wauseon and has hearing issues.

Huffman, 83, usually doesn’t get out of bed that quickly and he worries about hearing his smoke detector go off.

“It really works. And I’m hearing impaired so I couldn’t’ hear my smoke detectors if they did go off,” said Huffman.

He is referring to the free bedside fire alarm and shaker that is offered to all Ohio fire departments through the State of Ohio Fire Marshal.

“Growing up, my father is deaf, and we never had the technology that we do today that allows smoke detectors to interact with other devices to alert individuals,” said Wauseon Fire Chief Phil Kessler.

Kessler said the installation is simple.

“It simply looks like an alarm clock. It’s tethered to a little device like a hockey puck, and when the smoke alarm goes off, it triggers that hockey puck to shake the bed and wakes the individual up,” said Kessler.

Kessler said as temperatures drop this time of year, house fires increase.

“It’s important that homeowners are checking their furnaces, their furnace filters, smoke detectors. So, it’s not just smoke detectors, but as well as CO detectors,” said Kessler.

If you or someone you know is in need of a bedside fire alarm, Chief Kessler said the best course of action is to contact your local fire department and they will reach out to the Ohio State Fire Marshal.

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