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Pittsford, NY 14534
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© Fireproof Children /
Prevention First 2004

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in the Newsroom & Newsroom Archive.

Having a Smoke Alarm Isn’t Enough

A recent study in Public Health Reports reported that 95% of surveyed households had at least one installed smoke alarm.

At virtually the same time, NFPA Journal reported the deaths of nine children and one adult in a fire--in a building with two installed smoke alarms.

These two stories, one encouraging and one dismaying, show the danger of believing that if we just install a smoke alarm, our family is safe.

Here’s what went wrong in that tragic fire:
• There were no batteries in either of the two smoke alarms.
• Three of the adults in the home tried to douse the fire themselves before calling
9-1-1, delaying the fire department’s response.

Your smoke alarm can only alert you if it’s working.
• The same Public Health Reports study found that only 15% of households tested their alarms once a month.
• During visits to homes equipped with at least one installed smoke alarm, it was found that in 1 of every 5 homes, not a single alarm was working.
• Non-working alarms are usually due to missing, disconnected or dead batteries.
• (link to Is Your Smoke Alarm Working?)

A working smoke alarm can only protect you if you get out when it sounds.
• Don’t delay.
• Have an escape plan and practice it. Only 52% of homes reported having a fire escape plan. Even fewer, 16% of homes with such a plan, reported practicing it every six months, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and the National Fire Protection Association.

Getting out only protects you if you stay out.
• As part of your home exit plan, have an outside meeting place. Don’t go back inside for anything.
• When the fire service arrives, tell them:
o If everyone is outside and at the meeting place.
o Anything you know about how the fire started and its location.
o About any pets that may still be inside (link to Get Out! Stay Out!).

For Fireproof Children/Prevention First's tips on creating your escape plan:   Are You Prepared?


© Fireproof Children /Prevention First 2005. One Grove Street, Suite 235. Pittsford, NY 14534

Newsroom Archive:

March 2008 Fireproof Children Joins Vision 2020
June 2007 Having a Smoke Alarm Isn't Enough
March 2007 Wanted: Your Help Preventing Home Fire Deaths
December 2006 Kids Can Be Key to Family Fire Safety
August 2005 Delivering Safety
February 2005 Are You Prepared?
December 2004 Holiday Candles Are Tools to Use With Care
November 2004 Seniors and Fire
October 2004 Fire Prevention Week 2004 - Test Your Smoke Alarms
August 2004 Prevention First Preschool Found Highly Effective
July 2004 Fire Safe Cigarettes
May 2004 Is Your Smoke Detector Working?
February 2004

After the Fire is Out: The Fire Fighter's Role in Preventing Child-Set Fire

October 2003

When the Smoke Detector Activates: Get Out! Stay Out!

December 2003

Candle Safety: Keep Your Holidays Bright -- and Safe!