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Our building is constantlly having false fire alarms that are extremely loud. These are beyond the smoke detectors in our home, they are the industrial strobe alarms that can be heard over a block away from our building.

Throughout my son's infancy, there has been a lot of "testing" along with accidental false alarms. I am beginning to worry about emotion and psychological consequences from the alarms. His naps are often interupted and he wakes up scared and confused.

I am trying to make a plea to our development to get a better handle on this and would love any insights, evidence, etc. that might effectively communicate my concerns.

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How frequently do they go off? Are they going off mostly during the day or at night? How long do they typically last? – Johnny Arizona Mar 12 '12 at 18:52
They go off sporadically throughout the day. At times we get an email that warns us between the hours of 8a-3p they will be going off however, at other times there is no warning. Outside of the obvious desensitization and masking of real emergencies, I am more concerned about any stress, hearing loss, or emotional damage that these might be doing to my 7 month old. They last about 10-30 seconds, but can happen up to 2-3 times a day, randomly. Then they will stop for a few weeks, and happen again. What do you think? – Kate Mar 12 '12 at 19:10
Have you read through this question?… – Johnny Arizona Mar 12 '12 at 19:17
I have, and I think it is very valuable for the hearing loss argument. But I was curious if anyone knew of emotional and psychologic effects. Thank you Guthwulf...I appreciate your active feedback :) – Kate Mar 12 '12 at 19:23
That kind of testing is a major nuisance no matter how old you are. I would be furious. I would demand that they fix the problem, if it's electrical/electronical, or throw out the stupid people who are causing the alarms. – Torben Gundtofte-Bruun Mar 12 '12 at 19:42

I don't believe that your child will suffer any long term emotional or stress-related damage from this, although I have no stats of references to support it.

My primary reason for being convinced of this is that I live in litigation crazy California, and I haven't heard of it. If there was any chance that alarms caused trouble, class-action lawsuits would have been filed, breathless TV news people would be wondering if fire alarms caused autism or learning disabilities or aspergers, and the teachers union would be demanding sick leave for teachers after an alarm.

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+1 -- May not be a very conventional citation, but it rings true. Not to say we won't see a lawsuit on this sometime in the future, "just because." But the fact that it hasn't happened yet makes it likely that there is no evidence of the alarms being detrimental. – Saiboogu Mar 14 '12 at 5:11

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