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Alerting devices


Using a deaf-friendly doorbell means all members of the household are aware of what's going on and can help your child feel more included in their surroundings. Deaf-friendly doorbells typically have a flashing light, and the volume can be adjusted to be louder. Some doorbells have a bright strobe light which reflects off the walls to grab your child's attention.

Other doorbells have colourful lights which may be less effective if your child is further away but can work well in a small room. These may be ideal for your child's bedroom, so they’ll be alerted when someone wants to enter their room.

Video doorbells can alert older deaf children when someone's at the door by sending a notification to their smartphone or tablet.

Home alerting systems

There are lots of different types of equipment that can alert your deaf child to various things going on around the house. These systems connect a range of transmitters – such as a doorbell, smoke alarm, or telephone – and send a signal to a receiver which alerts your child via a flashing light, an audible alert, or a vibrating pager/pillow pad.

The advantage of a system like this is that everything works together to raise your child's awareness of what’s going on around the house and can make them feel more included in the family. It can also help them with their independence by becoming more confident about being on their own.

Fire safety

It's important to make sure that your child will be alerted if there is a fire in the home, especially when they're not wearing their hearing devices. There are fire alarms available that:

  • send a wireless signal to a vibrating pad placed under your child’s pillow and to a strobe light placed next to their bed
  • are part of a home alerting system and can alert your child wherever they are in the house
  • are battery-operated and can be used when spending a night away from home. The alarm picks up the sound of a fire or smoke alarm and will set off a vibrating pad and strobe light.

Most Fire and Rescue Services can carry out a home fire safety visit for free to give advice about what kind of alarms would work for your child. Find your local Fire and Rescue Service on the National Fire Chiefs Council website to organise a free visit.

Some of these services may provide and install specialist equipment, free of charge. If your child is not eligible for free equipment, the fire service can recommend deaf-friendly fire alarm systems.