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      Using alerting devices

      There are many products that alert you to different sounds and 'events' around the home. We're talking about super-loud and vibrating alarm clocks, flashing doorbells, special baby monitors and, of course, the latest in smoke alarms...

      Waking up

      A typical alarm clock may not be loud enough to wake you. But, these days, lots of alarm clocks have special features to help, including vibrating pads that you pop under your pillow (or mattress) and very loud alarms. Some allow you to adjust the pitch or tone of the audible alarm to better suit your hearing loss.

      There are a few wireless Bluetooth vibrating pads that you can use with an alarm clock app on your smartphone. The app allows you to set up the wake-up time and snooze, and will tell you when the battery in the vibrating pad needs to be charged. And there are wristwatches that can be set to vibrate when it's time to get up.

      Know when someone is at the door

      Is there anything more frustrating than a doorbell that isn't loud enough? If this sounds familiar you may want to find out more about adding a loud extension ringer to your existing doorbell. If this isn't feasible there are plenty of other solutions, including wireless doorbells and door chimes – just position them where you're more likely to hear them. Some also have a bright flashing light. Another option is to use a vibrating pager – see Multi-alerting systems, below.

      Know when your baby cries

      All parents crave the reassurance of being able to respond when their baby or small child is crying. A specially designed baby monitor is the perfect way to get peace of mind if you have hearing loss. If you have up-to-mild hearing loss, you can use a model with a wireless microphone transmitter that goes in the baby's room. This allows you to hear your baby via a receiver in another room with a built-in speaker. If your hearing loss is more severe, you can get a baby monitor with a vibrating pad that wakes you up if your baby cries. Some even have a TV camera so that you can, literally, monitor your baby via a small TV screen on the receiver.

      Smoke alarms

      Everyone is entitled to a free home-fire safety check through their local fire and rescue service. Make sure the fire safety officers know about your hearing loss – and tell them if you use hearing aids or a cochlear implant. Then they'll be able to recommend the smoke alarm system that's most suitable for you.

      For more information see our webpage on 'Staying safe' and our factsheet on smoke alarms.

      Multi-alerting systems

      Rather than have separate bits of equipment for the doorbell, telephone, alarm clock, smoke alarm and baby monitor, these days you can buy a wireless multi-alerting system that brings together all these alerts in one, easy-to-use system. Small, discreet, wireless transmitting devices dotted around the home monitor different alerts and sounds. Portable, flashing-light receivers and vibrating pagers with symbols light up for the doorbell, telephone, alarm clock, fire and baby crying.