Alarming Facts About Smoke Detectors and Hearing Loss

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by Audiology Online  1/5/2010

St. Louis, MO. January 4, 2010 – Oaktree Products, Inc. a leading multi-line distributor of audiology and hearing aid supplies, accessories and equipment, is pleased to announce upcoming educational opportunities for audiologists in regard to new information on smoke detectors and hearing loss.

The typical signal emitted by most smoke detectors used in homes is high frequency, between 3000 – 4000 Hz. Studies show that many patients with hearing loss, including those with milder degrees of hearing loss, are at risk of not hearing such alarms, especially while sleeping. The effectiveness of current solutions such as bed shakers and strobe lights – usually thought of as solutions for only those with more significant degrees of loss – is variable. The latest research indicates alarms utilizing a 520 Hz square wave signal to be the most effective in waking subjects with hearing impairment.

In order to generate awareness of this new research for audiologists and hearing instrument dispensers, A.U. Bankaitis, Ph.D., Vice President of Oaktree Products, Inc., has created an upcoming online seminar and article. The seminar, Alarming Facts About Smoke Detectors, will be presented live on AudiologyOnline on Wednesday, January, 20, 2010. Registration is free. In addition, an upcoming article in Audiology Today will cover this topic for the audiology community.

Dr. Bankaitis states, “The upcoming live seminar and article are intended to provide professionals with an interpretation of the latest research in this area, and to assist with clinical decision making for patients with various degrees of hearing loss. When it comes to the audiologist’s role in terms of smoke alarms for people with hearing impairment, this is not about selling products. Audiologists have the opportunity, or some may argue the responsibility, to inform and provide solutions to patients that increase their safety and may indeed save lives.”

Bob Kemp, CEO and founder of Oaktree indicates, “At Oaktree, education and information are an important part of what we do, and what separates us from other distributors. In addition to our seminars, books and other publications about cerumen management, infection control and hearing assistance technology, we’re disseminating this new information about smoke alarms to provide resources for professionals to best serve their patients.”

More information about Oaktree Products, Inc. can be found by visiting

About Oaktree Products, Inc. 

Founded in 1992, Oaktree Products, Inc. is a global multi-line distributor of hearing health care products intended for use in the clinical environment or for resale to patients, currently providing over 3100 items to professionals worldwide. In addition, Oaktree Products serves as a resource to the hearing industry and to hearing health care professionals, providing education, training, and general information in the areas of infection control, assistive listening devices (ALDs), cerumen management, auditory test recording administration, and business development. For more information, visit Stay current on the latest happenings at Oaktree on Facebook and Twitter!