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US Scientists Find Adding Mum’s Voice In Smoke Alarms Would Add To Its Effectiveness

A new study published in Pediatrics journal shows that modified smoke alarms with recording of mothers’ voices could be more effective in waking up children in case of a fire than conventional alarms. The study revealed that these alarms had the potential to buy vital seconds that were needed to escape burning buildings before it was too late. Though fire chiefs welcomed the study they said families need not rush into replacing their current alarms with those having mother’s voice. The research carried out by Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Ohio stated that children have deeper sleep than adults and are remarkably resistant to standard sounds.

The research team made a comparison between effectiveness of traditional high-pitched smoke alarms and voice-based ones to put forth their viewpoint. Around 176 children were part of the study in which alarms were created with personalized recording of their mothers’ voice instructing them to wake up immediately. While only half the children woke up on hearing the blaring sound of a conventional smoke alarm around 9 among a group of 10 children woke up to the voice alarms.  These experiments were carried out in a sleep laboratory and alarms were played out once the children were in deep sleep.

Researcher Mark Splaingard from this research team stated that this fact that voice-activated smoke alarms are more effective in waking children during a fire crisis can save their lives. As a step forward in their research the group now wants to test if only mother’s voice is effective or any other voice is just as effective. They also want to test the impact of such voice-based alarms on the sleep of adults to see if they are more effective than standard alarms. UK’s National Fire Chiefs Council leader Rick Hylton said that was looking forward to see how the research’s finding will pan out.

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