NFPA Studies Lack of Working Smoke Alarms

Between 2005 and 2009, around two-thirds of home fire fatalities resulted from fire in properties without working smoke alarms, according to the NFPA.

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The report "Smoke Alarms in U.S. Home Fires" examines the number of reported fires in U.S. households with and without working smoke alarms.

"Working smoke alarms are essential in saving lives from fire," NFPA VP of Communication Lorraine Carli said in a statement. "We know you can have as little as three minutes to get out if you have a fire before it becomes deadly. The early warning provided by smoke alarms gives you extra time to escape."

Key findings of the report include:

  • The death rate per 100 reported fires was twice as high in homes without a working smoke alarm as it was in home fires with smoke alarm protection.
  • Out of all home fire deaths, 38 percent resulted from fires in which no smoke alarms were present.
  • Hardwired smoke alarms are more reliable than those powered solely by batteries.