Alerting Devices

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Alerting Devices are assistive device that connect with door bells, telephones, and other devices, and let a deaf or hard of hearing person know that some condition is occurring, such as a smoke alarm, door bell ringing or baby crying. These alarming devices add a specific alarm based on one's disability, such as a door bell that blinks a light instead of a noise to indicate someone is at the door.

These Alerting Devices can include:

  • specially designed phones
  • smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
  • doorbell alerts

hearing impaired alert devices utilize innovative alerting technology to inform deaf or hearing impaired individuals of phone calls, visitors, and emergency situations such as a fire or dangerous carbon monoxide levels within the home. This alerting technology includes:

  • flashing lights
  • vibration
  • extra loud alarms

In the page below we will introduce & discuss a wide variety of these different types of Alerting Devices that are available in South Africa, which are sold by companies and organizations such as Edit Microsystems and S.A. Hearing.


The ability to hear a telephone ring will depend on a number of factors such as the severity of the hearing loss, the frequency of the telephone ring and the distance from the telephone to the person. If the individual does not respond to the sound of the typical telephone ring, there are telephone ringers available which have adjustable volume, pitch, and ring patterns. Very often, a lower pitch ring can make it easier to hear. If the hearing loss is severe, there are devices that will cause a light to flash, a body worn unit to vibrate, or a bed-shaker to vibrate when sleeping. Most amplified telephones have options for volume, pitch and pattern as well as a small flashing light to indicate the phone ringing.

Doorbell, knock and intercom

If the doorbell, a knock on the door or intercom cannot be easily heard, there are a number of options that are available.

There are many wireless extra loud doorbells that are currently on the market. The doorbell is installed outside the door of the house or apartment and the receiver (bell) is plugged in to an electrical outlet located inside the home. Additional receivers can be added as required.

Another unit that is available will cause a remote receiver to either make a sound, flash a strobe light or lamp when the doorbell is pushed. In addition, some units can be made to operate with the type of intercom system often found in apartments. When the intercom buzzer is pushed at the main door of an apartment building, the sensor inside the apartment will “hear” the sound and send a signal to receivers. Generally, these types of doorbells are part of a complete alerting system and are usually wireless making installation easy.

Another type of device is one that is attached to the inside of the door and will respond to someone knocking by flashing a light. This type of device is best used in a small apartment or hotel room.

Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors

There are two options for smoke and carbon monoxide safety. Both options can be used as part of a complete alerting system and are usually wireless making installation easy.

The first would be to make existing traditional smoke and Carbon Monoxide (CO) detectors accessible by installing a sound monitoring device mounted close to the detector(s). When the detector alarm goes off, the sound monitor “hears” the sound and then sends a signal to a receiver in order to signal a bed shaker or flash a strobe light or lamp.

The second option is to use specific smoke and Carbon Monoxide (CO) detectors for deaf and hard of hearing individuals. These detectors send a signal to a receiver in order to signal a bed shaker or flash a strobe light or lamp.

Alarm clock, timer and watch

There are many alarm clocks and timers available with adjustable volume and pitch, flashing light, or vibration.

There are both electrical powered and battery powered alarm clocks. Some alarms clocks are part of a complete alerting system. Generally, the electrically powered clocks are louder, a lamp can be plugged into them and tend to have stronger vibration. However, battery powered alarms can be useful when traveling.

There are small timers available that use sound, flashing light, or vibration as an alert. These are good for cooking or as a medication reminder.

There are several wrist watches available that use vibration as an alarm, on the hour alert, medication reminder or countdown timer.

Additional considerations in complete alerting systems

There are many complete alerting systems on the market today and it is important to understand how they operate.

There is usually a base unit that has its own outlets in which you can plug in a lamp and a bed shaker. The electrical outlet of this self-contained base unit would normally be dead but becomes live (turned on) when the alarm condition occurs. For example, a base unit that also doubles as an alarm clock has both an outlet for a lamp and an outlet for a bed shaker. The lamp that is plugged into the unit should remain on and is switched on and off by the use of a switch on the base unit, and not on the lamp itself. When the base unit is triggered by either receiving a signal from a transmitter such as a doorbell, baby cry signaler or simply by the use of an alarm for waking, the lamp will flash, bed shaker will shake, or the unit will emit a sound in a specific pattern according to the condition. On some systems the lights will flash, or can be adjusted to flash in different patterns so that you can easily tell the difference between one condition and another. While other systems show on their base unit, indicator lights that will let you know exactly what the condition is. If a lamp is used for alerting, it can be used for regular lighting as well and will flash regardless if the light appears on or off.

A few points of interests: some systems use their own special lamps or strobe lights, while others require the use of the individual’s own lamps.

Some units communicate with each other by using radio transmission, while others communicate with a remote device by sending a signal over the existing electrical wiring .When using alerting devises, each transmitter and receiver should be made by the same manufacturer to ensure compatibility.

Bellman Visit 868 Paging System

The Bellman Visit 868 is a customizable system of transmitters and receivers designed to allow someone with a hearing impairment to be alerted to various events in their home, such as a doorbell,smoke alarm or even a baby crying.

The Bellman Visit 868 System consists of a number of radio transmitters and receivers. The transmitters detect different events in the surrounding area and transmit a radio signal to the receivers. The receivers pick up this signal and provide indications using light, sound and/or vibration.

And, instead of lugging round several different flashing and vibrating receivers for each alert, the Bellman system will alert you to everything, via one simple device that you choose.

Choice of Receivers:

The receiver is the method of alerting the user, various types of receivers are available.

Flash Receiver – for indoor use, attracts attention with a flashing light, light signal, and also by vibration if a Bellman Bed-shaker (accessory) is connected
Portable Receiver – for indoor use, attracts attention user using sound, light and also vibration if a Bellman Bed-shaker (accessory) is connected
Portable Audio Receiver – for indoor use, attracts attention using sound and light
Pager – for indoor use, attracts attention using light and vibrations.  Connects to a Charger, charging for up to 8 hours, and can connect to a Bellman Bed-shaker (accessory)
Alarm Clock – for indoor use, attracts attention using sound and light signals and also vibration if a Bellman Bed-shaker (accessory) is connected
Portable Flash Receiver – for indoor use, attracts attention with a flashing light, light signal, and also by vibration if a  Bellman Bed Shaker (accessory) is connected
Wrist Receiver and Charger – for indoor use, attracts attention using light and vibrations
Guard Receiver -The Guard Receiver is the central unit in a Smoke Alarm System. The Guard receiver works like a normal receiver and provides indications using flashing lights, LEDs and vibration. In addition, it monitors whether there are faults or problems with the vibrator, radio contact with the smoke alarms or whether the batteries are becoming flat. If there is a fault, the Guard Receiver will give a warning.
Choice of Transmitters:

Door Transmitter – recognises the sound emitted by a doorbell
Pushbutton Transmitter -for indoor use and outdoor use in sheltered locations, transmits signals to the receiverswhen the Pushbutton is pressed
Telephone Transmitter – for indoor use, recognises ring signals from an analogue telephone system via a plug, which is inserted into the telephone socket. In addition to using the telephone input, the telephone transmitter can also operate as a multifunction transmitter, either via a pushbutton or via 2 connectors for an external trigger. All inputs can be detected separately and transmit different signal patterns to the receivers in the Bellman Visit 868 system depending on which has activated thetelephone transmitter. There is a range of options for connecting the telephone transmitter to various applications.
Smoke Alarm – for indoor use, detects smoke and heat. Most effective as part of the Fire Alarm System
Baby Cry Transmitter – for indoor use, recognises the sound from a crying baby
Repeater -for indoor use, receives a radio signal from a transmitter in the Bellman Visit 868 System and transmits this radio signal to the receivers in the system
Bridge – for indoor use and operates as an interpreter, which conveys radio signals between the Bellman Visit and Bellman Visit 868 systems
Smoke Alarm Transmitter – indoor use, detects smoke. When smoke is detected, the Smoke Alarm will transmit a fire alarm signal to all Bellman Visit 868 receivers which are within its range
A Bellman Visit 868 Fire Alarm System consists of:

1 Bellman Visit 868 Guard Receiver BE1465
1 Bellman Bed Shaker BE1270
1 Bellman Visit 868 Smoke Alarm BE1480 (a maximum of 8 can be used)
Contact Us

If you would like us to assess your venue for a Visit system, please contact us for a consultation, site visit and quote.


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