Most people don’t find the noise of a fire alarm soothing, but most people aren’t 7-year-old Grandy Miller.
Grandy, who has autism, is enthralled
by high-pitched chirps and long, sustained horns of fire alarms. And he knows
exactly which alarm makes which noise. When he sees a fire alarm in a
supermarket or at school, he’s comforted by the fact that he knows exactly the
noise it will make in an emergency.
He’s collected dozens of fire alarms, all wired through a custom board. When he wants to hear a certain alarm, all he has to do is flip a switch and his room is filled with noise.
Earlier this year, we threw a five-alarm birthday party at our Connecticut facility, complete with a custom fire-alarm cake and a tour of the factory.
Such passion raises live-saving questions: Can you identify your fire alarm in an emergency situation? Do you have an escape plan for your family? While Grandy knows the make and model of most fire alarms, nine out of 10 Americans don’t even know how often fire alarms need to be replaced to ensure they work.October 8 through 14 is Fire Prevention Week, and even if you don’t know the exact sound of your fire alarm, here are tips from the National Fire Prevention Association to Help:
1. Map it Out: Draw a map of your home with all members of your household, marking two exits from each room and a path to the outside from each exit.
2. Practice Drills: Twice a year, conduct one at night and one during the day with everyone in your home, and practice using different ways out.
3. Teach Kids: Show them how to escape on their own in case you can’t help them.
4. Be Easy to Find: Make sure the number of your home is clearly marked so the fire department can locate it.
5. Close Doors: When you leave home, close the doors in your house to help slow the spread of smoke, heat, and fire.