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Smoke alarms save lives

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has released new materials to help communities raise awareness about the life-saving benefits of smoke alarms.

The materials are included in a free collection of educational resources that make up an online tool kit to be used by local fire departments and others interested in raising community awareness about the need for smoke alarms, and providing valuable information about them.

The death rate in reported home fires without working smoke alarms is twice as high as homes with working smoke alarms. It is critical that people understand the need to install them and how to maintain them to better protect themselves.

According to the NFPA report on smoke alarms, 40 percent of home fire deaths resulted from fires with no smoke alarms in the home. Twenty-three percent of home fire deaths resulted from homes where a smoke alarm was present, but did not sound. In over half of these cases, the alarm did not sound because of disconnected or missing batteries. Having a working smoke alarm reduces the risk of death in a home fire by nearly 50 percent.

The resource tool kit materials are available for fire departments, public educators, or the general public and can be found online for no cost at http://www.nfpa.org/safeandsound. Printable materials include: facts and figures on smoke alarms, handouts, public service print ads, videos on the basics of smoke alarms and safety tips, and other tools for communication.

NFPA has been a worldwide leader in providing fire, electrical, building, and life safety to the public since 1896. The mission of the international nonprofit organization is to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating consensus codes and standards, research, training, and education.

We encourage readers to visit NFPA's Web site at http://www.nfpa.org/.