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      Flashing and vibrating alerts

      These days there are plenty of affordable products that alert you to sounds and 'events' around the home – from something catching fire, to a visitor at the door – with flashing lights and vibrating alerts.

      Vibrating pad

      Many helpful products, such as alarm clocks, smoke alarm systems and multi-alerting systems come supplied with a vibrating pad (sometimes called a bedshaker). This is a circular device (there are square ones too) that you put under your pillow. If the model you have is powerful enough, you can put it under your mattress.

      Waking up

      Some alarm clocks have a vibrating pad that you put under your pillow or mattress. It vibrates when the alarm clock goes off, to wake you. Some also have a bright flashing light. There are also Bluetooth wireless vibrating pads that you can use with your smartphone.

      There are also wristwatches that vibrate when the alarm goes off.

      Smoke alarms

      Everyone in the UK 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 specify whether you use hearing aids or a cochlear implant. Then they can recommend the smoke alarm system that's most suitable for you.

      To find out more see our webpage on 'Staying Safe' and our factsheet on smoke alarms .

      Know when someone is at the door

      You have several options: you can fit an extension doorbell ringer with a flashing light to your existing doorbells. But a wireless, flashing-light doorbell (or door chime) is usually a better option as you can put it where you need it in your home. There are also wireless alerting systems, using a vibrating pad that you put under your pillow or cushion. Another option is a vibrating pager – see multi alerting systems below.

      Know when your baby cries

      A baby monitor is the perfect way to secure peace of mind. Some models have a vibrating pad which wakes you up if your baby cries when you're asleep. Others light up. Some top-of-the-range baby monitors come with a TV camera so that you can see your baby on a small TV screen on the receiver.

      Multi-alerting systems

      These days you don't need separate bits of kit for the doorbell, telephone, alarm clock, and smoke alarm – a multi-alerting system brings them all together in one, convenient easy-to-use system. Small, discreet, wireless transmitting devices dotted around the home monitor the different alerts and sounds. These are relayed to you on portable flashing light receivers and vibrating pagers; different symbols light up for the doorbell, telephone, alarm clock, fire and baby crying, so you know what you are being alerted to.