In January, the Tenney family escaped their burning home in Pittsburgh, Action News 4 reports.
They were able to get out in time because Aric Tenney, 13, who was born completely deaf in his right ear, saw and felt the smoke alarm going off, unlike the rest of his family.
The smoke alarm, designed for those who are deaf or hard of hearing, includes a traditional smoke detector on the ceiling, a receiver equipped with a strobe light and a vibrating disc that shakes the entire bed from underneath the mattress.
But few people can afford the devices, according to Amy Hart, president and CEO of the Center for Hearing and Deaf Services.
The Pittsburgh Fire Department has recently received a $1 million federal grant to supply the special alarms for households within city limits.