Journal of Community Health

, Volume 35, Issue 5, pp 543–548 | Cite as

Evaluation of Fire-Safety Programs that use 10-Year Smoke Alarms

  • Mark Jackson
  • Jonathan Wilson
  • Judith Akoto
  • Sherry Dixon
  • David E. Jacobs
  • Michael F. Ballesteros
Original Paper

Abstract

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began funding a Smoke Alarm Installation and Fire Safety Education (SAIFE) program in 1998. This program involves the installation of lithium-powered “10-year” smoke alarms in homes at high risk for fires and injuries. This study aimed to (1) determine among original SAIFE homes if the lithium-powered alarms were still present and functional 8–10 years after installation and (2) understand factors related to smoke alarm presence and functionality. Data on a total of 384 homes and 601 smoke alarms in five states were collected and analyzed. Only one-third of alarms were still functional; 37% of installed alarms were missing; and 30% of alarms were present, but not functioning. Alarms were less likely to be functioning if they were installed in the kitchen and if homes had a different resident at follow-up. Of the 351 alarms that were present and had a battery at the time of the evaluation, only 21% contained lithium-powered batteries. Of these, 78% were still functioning. Programs that install lithium-powered alarms should use units that have sealed-in batteries and “hush” buttons. Additionally, education should be given on smoke alarm maintenance that includes a message that batteries in these alarms should not be replaced. Lithium-powered smoke alarms should last up to 10 years if maintained properly.

Keywords

Smoke alarms Fires Injury prevention Evaluation 

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Copyright information

© Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mark Jackson
    • 1
  • Jonathan Wilson
    • 2
  • Judith Akoto
    • 2
  • Sherry Dixon
    • 2
  • David E. Jacobs
    • 2
  • Michael F. Ballesteros
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and ControlCenters for Disease Control and PreventionAtlantaUSA
  2. 2.National Center for Healthy HousingColumbiaUSA

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