Smoke Alarms

Ensuring Proper Installation & Maintenance

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.

Facts & Figures

  • A 2008 survey found that 96 percent of U.S. households had at least one smoke alarm, yet in 2003-06, no smoke alarms were present or none operated in roughly 2 in 5 (41 percent) of the reported home fires.
  • Almost two-thirds of reported home fire deaths in 2003-06 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.


This information comes from

NFPA's "Smoke Alarms in U.S. Home Fires" by Marty Ahrens, September 2009.