Smoke alarms

Smoke alarms that are properly installed and maintained play a vital role in reducing fire deaths and injuries.

Smoke alarms save lives. If there is a fire in your home, smoke spreads fast and you need smoke alarms to give you time to get out. Having a working smoke alarm cuts the chances of dying in a reported fire in half. Almost two-thirds of home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.

Here's what you need to know!
  • Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of your home.
  • Test your smoke alarms every month.
  • When a smoke alarm sounds, get outside and stay outside.
  • Replace all smoke alarms in your home every 10 years
    More about staying safe with smoke alarms.

This NFPA video provides the latest information on types of smoke alarms you need, their placement and special features. Working smoke alarms give you early warning to help you escape a fire.

See all of NFPA's smoke alarm videos.
Smoke alarms by the numbers
  • In 2007-2011, smoke alarms sounded in half of the home fires reported to U.S. fire departments.
  • Three of every five home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.
  • No smoke alarms were present in more than one-third (37%) of the home fire deaths.

Source: NFPA's "Smoke Alarms in U.S. Home Fires" report, (March 2014)

NFPA (National Fire Protection Association)
1 Batterymarch Park, Quincy, MA 02169-7471 USA
Telephone: +1 617 770-3000 Fax: +1 617 770-0700