Smoke alarms that are properly installed and maintained play a vital role in reducing fire deaths and injuries. Having a working smoke alarm cuts the chances of dying in a reported fire in half.
Video: Learn basic smoke alarm safety tips.
- Ninety-six percent of all homes have at least one smoke alarm, according to a 2010 telephone survey. Overall, three-quarters of all U.S. homes have at least one working smoke alarm.
- Almost two-thirds of home fire deaths in 2005-2009 resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.
- When smoke alarms fail to operate, it is usually because batteries are missing, disconnected or dead. Almost one-quarter of the smoke alarm failures was due to dead batteries.
Source: NFPA's "Smoke Alarms in U.S. Home Fires", by Marty Ahrens, September 2011.
Also see: Fact sheet on smoke alarm types, nuisance alarms, and more (PDF, 650 KB)
Also see: Fact sheet on smoke alarms in reported U.S. home fires (PDF, 94 KB)
Family activity - check your smoke alarms!
Download a calendar tearsheet (PDF, 228 KB), and put it in an important place in your home. Remember to have a grown-up test your smoke alarms once a month. Tear off the correct month when the test is finished!
NFPA does not test, label or approve any products.