A novel study intending to gauge the efficacy of smoke alarms has suggested that high pitched smoke alarms may not be able to alert the elderly. The research conducted on 42 adults, between the ages of 65 to 85 found that a mixed frequency signal showed better results than a complete high frequency signal, which most smoke alarms use.
Data from the National Fire Protection Association has indicated the degree of propensity of older adults, who are twice as much likely to lose their life in a home fire, compared to an average adult.
The authors of the study have advised 'The high frequency alarm signal currently found in smoke alarms should be replaced by an alternative signal that performs significantly better in awakening most of the adult population, once the nature of the best signal has been determined.'
What might probably save the day, is the use of interconnected smoke alarms, enabling an alarm in each bedroom, so that the chances of people waking up to it is high.