Some scientific researchers recently tried to find the most effective sounds to use for a smoke alarm that gets children to pay attention and helps them get out of the house more quickly.
To make smoke alarms more effective, it turns out that a smoke alarm tone may not nearly be as effective as a mother’s voice, especially when it comes to her own children.
The study was published in the Journal of Pediatrics and monitored the behaviors of about 170 children who are between five and 12 years old.
First, they taught the children how to react to a smoke alarm with a simple procedure. Upon hearing the alarm they were taught to get out of bed, go to the door, and leave the room. Then, they compared the children’s reactions when the smoke alarm went off while they were sleeping. The study compared the children’s behaviors after hearing an alarm tone to what they did after hearing three different versions of their mom’s voice shouting what to while mentioning their names.
When the kids heard a regular smoke alarm, it only woke up about half of them and the average time it took for the child to leave the room was about five minutes. On the other hand, 90 percent of the children woke up when they heard their own mother’s voice and they got out of the room in about 30 seconds.
Children were able to distinguish their own mom’s voice and react strongly to it, even when sleeping. This discovery allows a new type of smoke alarm to be made that comes with a recording capacity so that moms can program the alarm to play back a recording of their voice. Along with training young children what to do in the case of a fire; this innovation can help save lives. The researchers are now trying to find similar ways to motivate adults.
Human beings have a mental process called “selective attention.” Very Well Mind says that adults already know how to use this. For example, when two adults are talking to each other at a loud party, they can focus their hearing on the person speaking to them to be able to more clearly hear what they say.
Perhaps well-recognized voices who adults respect may be useful for these purposes in order to draw more attention to smoke alarms. Maybe the booming voice of Morgan Freeman might work or Taylor Swift screaming for the safety of the toddler of Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds whose super cute voice was featured in the song Gorgeous.
More research in this fascinating area needs to be done. In the meantime, in the near future, for those of us who visit others and stay over as a house guest, if we hear a mother’s voice in the middle of the night screaming “Fire! Get out of the house!” it would be a good idea to heed the warning and get out.