Report: NFPA's "Smoke Alarms in US Home Fires"
Author: Marty Ahrens
Issued: February 2021
Smoke alarms were present in three-quarters (74 percent) of reported home fires in 2014–2018.
- Almost three out of five home fire deaths were caused by fires in properties with no smoke alarms (41 percent) or smoke alarms that failed to operate (16 percent).
- The risk of dying in reported home structure fires is 55 percent lower in homes with working smoke alarms than in homes with no alarms or none that worked.
- When present, hardwired smoke alarms operated in 94 percent of the fires considered large enough to trigger a smoke alarm. Battery-powered alarms operated 82 percent of the time. Power source issues were the most common factors when smoke alarms failed to operate.
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