Your Smoke Alarm May Not Wake Your Child

A new study, completed by researchers at Victoria University in Melbourne shows that most of the time, kids will sleep...
A new study, completed by researchers at Victoria University in Melbourne shows that most of the time, kids will sleep soundly, right through the blaring beeping of a home smoke alarm. It seems nuts right? When my smoke alarm goes off by accident it's hyper annoying. Still, the research shows that a full 78% of school-aged children slept through 30 seconds worth of smoke alarm noise. The study, published this month in the journal Fire and Materials, is not actually the first of its kind. Back in 2008 I posted a video about this very issue, that shows young kids sound asleep as a smoke alarm goes off nearby. I believe it. Kids will sleep through everything. TRUE STORY - When my son was three or four years old, we lived in a two story apartment complex in New Mexico. We had the upstairs apartment. Anyhow, one night a drunk driver plowed through the gates of our complex, drove through the complex, then smashed into the apartment directly below us, taking out the wall. It made the loudest sound you ever heard, not to mention all the shaking. Then of course, the cops and their blaring sirens came, along with every neighbor we had. I'm pretty sure everyone in our entire complex was wide awake. Except my son. He slept through all the noise and shenanigans. My son also slept through two earthquakes when we lived in California. Kids can sleep! It gets worse... Be aware that not hearing the alarm wasn't the only problem. According to the parents who participated in this study, of the kids who did wake up when an alarm when off (22%), only half were able to identify the sound as a smoke alarm, and only half of those kids knew that the alarm meant get out of the house now. Wow. What can you do to keep your kids safe?

First discuss fire safety with your kids from a young age. Of course babies rely on parents, but young toddlers need to start learning about fire safety and smoke alarms. Make sure that kids know what the smoke alarm sounds like and understand what it means (in case they do hear it). Your family needs to practice fire safety. Secondly, although you should always have working smoke alarms installed, your family shouldn't count on smoke alarms to wake kids up. Yes, this puts pressure on you, the parent, but you don't have a big choice in the matter. Part of your evacuation plan, in case of a fire, should include checking on kids and helping them out if possible. Another idea is to install a home sprinkler system. Studies by the U.S. Fire Administration note that, "The installation of residential fire sprinkler systems could have saved thousands of lives; prevented a large portion of those injuries; and eliminated hundreds of millions of dollars in property losses." *Source Photos courtesy

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