Naperville Fire Department Chief Mark Puknaitis and fire personnel presented a special fire alarm to resident Kim DeCarlo and her hearing-impaired son, Christopher, on March 16.
The alarm increased the chances that Christopher, who wears cochlear implants during the day, will receive a warning of a fire while he sleeps.
The special alarm is the first to be presented to a local family.
“The benefit of this device is that it listens for the sound of a home smoke alarm and then uses three distinct alerts to wake the user up," Puknaitis said. “The three alerts include a 520 Hz square wave alarm, a backlit display that flashes the word FIRE and a bed shaker that will vibrate rapidly to wake up the user. The hope is that these devices give Mr. DeCarlo and others a much greater chance of escaping and reaching safety.”
On Dec. 18, 2013, Thomas and Janet Lambert, both legally blind, died in a fire that destroyed their Naperville home. Area individuals made donations in their memory to the fire department.
In 2014, the fire department used the money to purchase the special fire alarms for residents with hearing impairments.