Smoke Detector Uses Familiar Voice to Alert Kids

Smoke detectors are essential in preventing fire deaths, but for families with young children, they may not be enough.

Research has shown that because children younger than 10 spend a significant amount of time in "slow-wave" sleep -- periods characterized by slow brain activity -- they don't always wake to an alarm. A familiar voice often will rouse them, however.

That's why KidSmart Corp. has introduced the Vocal Smoke Detector, an alarm that uses a recording of a voice such as a parent's to wake the child and guide him out of the house without panic. The message alternates with a siren.

A fire-drill button lets parents use the detector to simulate an emergency so children can be even better prepared in the event of a fire.