Research Shows Familiar Voice Is Most Effective Means To Wake UP Children During Emergency

Atlanta, GA – Based on new scientific research that proves a familiar voice is the most effective method in awakening children during emergencies, KidSmart Corporation has developed the KidSmart(tm) Vocal Smoke Detector (VSD) with patented familiar voice technology.

The VSD, which will be commercially available in early fall 2004, will allow a family member or guardian to record a personalized message instructing children to wake up and safely escape during an emergency. Currently, the KidSmart product is in the UL testing and certification process.

“Children sleeping through traditional smoke alarms is not a new issue, however new research and expert analysis have established familiar voice as the most effective solution for awakening a child during an emergency,” said KidSmart president Matt Ferris. “Through direction provided by independent research and support from fire safety professionals nationwide, we have developed the KidSmart(tm) Vocal Smoke Detector to offer an answer to this life-threatening issue.”

The Vocal Smoke Detector also offers features that include:

  • KidSmart’s Directional Alarm that allows the parent to aim the high output speaker directly at their child’s sleeping area to help ensure the voice alarm is heard during an emergency.
  • Personalized instruction allowing a parent to record a wake up command, the KidSmart(tm) VSD also permits personalized escape instructions to be recorded and customized to any individual household escape plan.
  • Fire drill feature, which enables parents or guardians to activate the unit and practice in-home fire drills with their families. The fire drill feature utilizes a time-delay function that allows parents to simulate a real-life emergency experience and observe their children’s response from a hidden vantage point.

Familiar Voice Research
In 2003, ground breaking research was undertaken at the Victoria University Sleep Lab in Melbourne, Australia proving that children consistently wake up to a familiar voice, but they do not reliably wake up to traditional smoke alarms. In fact, during the tests, one hundred percent of children woke up to a recording of their mother’s voice, compared to only 57 percent who responded to a traditional smoke alarm signal. Also uncovered during the research was the fact that those children who did awaken to the traditional smoke alarm took much longer to respond than those aroused with a familiar voice alarm.

Additionally, child psychologists claim a familiar voice has supplementary attributes beyond arousal from deep sleep that benefit children during an emergency. Since quick response times and rational behavior are both critical to safety during any fire emergency, experts maintain that a familiar voice not only awakens a child from deep sleep, but also helps the child become alert quickly and overcome panic in unfamiliar or traumatic situations. The KidSmart(tm) VSD elicits both quick arousal and calm response because it provides parents with the ability to record their familiar voice into the product, making the Vocal Smoke Detector a vital safety tool for planning for and surviving a fire emergency.

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