Skip to main content
Fire Alarms

Can Fire Alarms Damage Your Hearing?

Fire alarms are well known to save lives. They come standard in most homes and businesses as a necessary safety feature for residents. However, fire alarms are known to be quite loud.

Can Fire Alarms Damage Your Hearing?

One of the most common questions people ask about fire alarms is whether their loud noise can damage sensitive hearing. The reality is that most fire alarms aren't produced in a high-enough decibel range to damage your hearing when heard in short bursts. However, the time of exposure to the fire alarm can impact whether or not it damages your hearing.

How Long is Too Long?

Most typical residential fire alarms emit sounds at a decibel range of 65 to 85. This is loud enough to wake you from slumber but not loud enough to damage your hearing immediately. There are fire alarms that can be sold to produce sounds up near the 120-decibel range. However, they're mainly used for commercial buildings.

According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, hearing damage can occur when prolonged exposure to 85 decibels is present. On average, it takes about eight straight hours of hearing a sound of 85 decibels to create damage to the delicate hair follicles inside of your ear.

As a general rule of thumb, every three decibels over the 85-decibel standard reduces the safe exposure time by half. For example, if you're constantly exposed to a noise that is 88 decibels for over 4 hours, it can damage your hearing. Up to 91 decibels and your safe exposure time drop to 2 short hours.

Tips for Protecting Your Hearing

The human body is a memorizing wonder. When a fire alarm goes off, your body naturally helps to dampen the noise by having you put your hands up over your ears. Just the physical blockage of sound waves can play a big role in dampening the noise that makes its way into your ear canal.

The key to protecting your hearing is to limit the amount of exposure time you have to loud noises. One of the best things you can do regarding a fire alarm is to have an evaluation plan figured out. When your fire alarm goes off, you should implement your evaluation plan and leave your residence quickly. The less time you spend indoors where the blaring fire alarm noise goes off, the less your chance of hearing damages.

Call Us Today

If you're experiencing trouble with your hearing, it's time to contact us at Beltone Skoric Hearing Aid Center. Let our helpful hearing care specialists evaluate your hearing loss and provide you with the best treatment options available to meet your individualized needs.