Mother’s voice makes best alarm

Local News

There’s no question a working smoke detector can save lives in the event of a house fire, but studies have found children are such sound sleepers they snooze right through the loud, high-pitched tones.

Now a new study from Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio alerts us to what can rouse children: The sound of their mother.

“Smoke alarms that used mother’s voice were much better at awakening children and getting them to leave the bedroom than the typical high-pitched tone alarm that is found in most American households,” says Dr. Gary Smith.

The reactions of 176 sleeping children were measured in a lab where they were never in any danger from fire.

When a standard smoke alarm sounded about half woke up, but more than three-quarters of the kids woke up when alarms were programmed with mom’s voice urging her children to “wake up” and “leave the room.” 

“We don’t really know why a mom’s voice works so well. In fact, we’re not really sure that it has to be mother’s voice. Perhaps it can be any woman’s voice or a human voice,” Dr. Smith says.

Studies have shown about half of house fires occur at night, when residents are asleep.

Read more here.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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