Smoke alarms save lives

Friday, October 19, 2012

With the advent of winter and colder temperatures bringing furnaces, fireplaces, stoves and space heaters back into our lives, we'd all be wise to do our part 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.

Forty percent of home fire deaths result from fires with no smoke alarms in the home. Twenty-five 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 dead, disconnected or missing batteries.

Having a working smoke alarm reduces the risk of death in a home fire by nearly 50 percent!

The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) offers resource tool kit materials 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 .