NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – The Christmas fire that killed five people in Stamford is a reminder to make sure your home is prepared.

WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman On The Story

You’d think that the sound of a smoke alarm’s klaxon right overhead would be enough to wake anyone up, but former FDNY deputy chief Jim Bullock says young kids can be sound sleepers.

“They sleep right through,” he said.

Bullock, who now runs the New York Fire Safety Institute, says studies have shown smoke alarms that let you record a voice saying “Fire!” are up to 96 percent effective at waking kids up, as opposed to tone alarms that are just 58 percent effective.

LINK: Read The Study

Bullock says studies show one voice in particular really does the trick.

“Your mother’s voice, a familiar voice — and of course the mother would be the most familiar to a child,” Bullock told WCBS 880 reporter Alex Silverman.

Bullock says the voice alarms aren’t that much more expensive. They run between $30 and $50.

Three young children and their grandparents died in the tragic Christmas Day fire.

Do you have something to say about this story? Sound off in the comments section below!

  1. Andrew Perlman says:

    Mr. Bullock brings up an excellent point. It also brings to light the unique challenges facing people who are deaf or hard of hearing. Audible smoke alarms such as the ones mentioned in the article would be of no use. Tactile and visual devices are the only smoke alarms that would be of value to this often-overlooked community. For information about emergency preparedness issues facing the deaf and hard of hearing, contact

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