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NFPA Commercial Impact

Beginning in the 2010 edition of the National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code (NFPA 72), the chapter on residential occupancies first included provisions beyond visual strobes for hard-of-hearing and profoundly deaf individuals. These new requirements addressed the need and value of both tactile stimulation and low frequency alarms for the deaf and hard-of-hearing, including in commercial sleeping rooms which the residential chapter is intended to cover. These new requirements applied wherever notification are provided for those with hearing loss in sleeping and guest rooms. They applied regardless of whether the notification appliances are required by governing laws, codes, or standards, or if the notification appliances are provided voluntarily for those persons with hearing loss. Therefore, if notification appliances were present in sleeping and guest rooms for those with hearing loss, then the installations needed to meet the new requirements of NFPA 72 (2010). The requirements for those with mild to severe hearing loss called for the use of an audible notification appliance that produces a low frequency 520 Hz sound. For those with profound hearing loss, the requirements included tactile notification appliances (such as a bed shaker) in addition to high intensity visible notification appliances. The requirements for those with mild to severe hearing loss called for the use of an audible notification appliance that produces a sound wave with a low fundamental frequency of 520 Hz.

In the 2013 edition of NFPA 72, the chapter on residential occupancies expanded the requirements for those with hearing loss. This included increasing the requirements for tactile notification to the moderately severe to profoundly deaf population. Additional recommendations were made for tactile and low frequency devices for all populations, including those with no hearing loss at all. These recommendations were an acknowledgement to the research conclusions that tactile and low frequency notification devices were beneficial for all populations, even those with no hearing loss.

In response to the changes in NFPA 72 for residential smoke and fire alarms in sleeping rooms, NFPA 720, the Standard for the Installation of Carbon Monoxide (CO) Detection and Warning Equipment, likewise adopted new provisions for the hard-of-hearing and profoundly deaf communities. The 2012 edition of NFPA 720 has identical provisions for notification devices (i.e. low frequency and tactile) in residential sleeping rooms as those in the 2010 edition of NFPA 72. The 2015 edition of NFPA 720 is expected to have identical provisions to those in the 2013 edition of NFPA 72 including the expansion of the requirements for tactile notification and the recommendations for audible low frequency and tactile notification for all occupants, regardless of the presence and magnitude of hearing loss. These provisions in NFPA 720 are intended to provide the same protection from Carbon Monoxide hazards for hard-of-hearing and deaf individuals as NFPA 72 provides to these same individuals from smoke and fire.

The SafeAwake meets the requirements of both the 2010 and 2013 editions of NFPA 72. It can easily transform any sleeping room into an acceptably safe sleeping room for those with hearing loss. It is perfect for: hotels, dormitories, assisted and independent care facilities, and certain rental properties.

To purchase the SafeAwake, go to our Purchase page, or call 443.539.0781.

*For distribution ordering, contact ADI. ADI is a wholesale supplier of security and low voltage products. ADI has been expanding their company for over 20 years and has over 100 branch locations nationwide. Visit their website at www.ADIGlobal.com or call them at 1.800.233.6261.

Contact us: 443.539.0781