According to the latest (United States) National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) “Smoke Alarms in the U. S.” report, working smoke alarms in the home reduce the risk of dying in a reported fire by more than half. However, almost three out of five home fire deaths occur in homes with no smoke alarms (41%) or smoke alarms that failed to operate (16%); missing or non-functional power sources, including missing or disconnected batteries, dead batteries, and disconnected hardwired alarms or other AC power issues, are the most common factors when smoke alarms fail to operate.
Keeping in view this hard-to-believe-truth, Lorraine Carli, Vice President of Outreach and Advocacy NFPA, said, “Smoke alarms have played a leading role in reducing fire death rates over the past 40 years, but we still have more work to do in maximizing their effectiveness,”
Recollecting her experience, she further added, “People tend to remove smoke alarm batteries or dismantle alarms altogether when the alarm begins to chirp as a result of low batteries or the alarm is no longer working properly, or when experiencing nuisance alarms. These behaviours present serious risks to safety that can have tragic consequences in the event of a fire.”
According to Carli, giving people the tools to properly respond to alarms sounding – whether it’s an actual fire or simply time to change a battery – can make a life-saving difference.