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April 14, 2005

Students Invent Device to Alert Deaf People to Fire

From: KARE, MN - Apr 14, 2005

A group of students from Roosevelt High School will be doing something impressive this summer. The four young men will be going to MIT in Boston to fine tune an invention that could save countless lives all over the world.

Their invention is designed to help awaken the hard of hearing when there's a fire in the house.

It doesn't have a name yet, but the young minds who created it are working on just the right title for their new device.

Junior Tim Dumas says the idea came from watching the news, "Fires happen very often around Minneapolis so I was thinking, how would deaf people react to a fire. How would they be alerted?"

So, Dumas and his fellow inventors started thinking and what they came up with involves a whole new device working with already existing alert systems.

If there's a fire in the house, smoke would set off a smoke detector which would then, send a signal to a wall unit, which would then send a signal to the new device. The device would be attached to the deaf person and it would vibrate.

Freshman Cory Eby explains how it works, "One detector would be on this wall and one would be over there and it would set off both wall units. If there was somebody just out of range of one, it would go straight to the other."

The unit can receive a signal up to 250 yards away or about 110 yards if several walls are involved.

For now, you have to hold the device next to you to feel the vibration. Future plans are to reduce it in size and attached a velcro belt.

Hopefully by then, the inventors will have a name for their life saving invention.

By Rondah Kinchlow, KARE 11 News

(Copyright 2005 by KARE. All Rights Reserved.)