Smoke Alarms – Life-Saver or Ugly Art?

Dan Doofus: An Alarming Trend

A smoke alarm can save your life and the lives of those you care about … IF they’re properly installed and maintained.

The smoke caused by a home fire causes quickly spreading smoke — smoke alarms give you the time you need to get out safely. Install alarms in every sleeping room as well as just outside, and on every level of your home. Test your alarms and be sure they’re working properly by pressing the test button, otherwise they’re just an unattractive decoration.

And, did you know you’re supposed to replace your alarms every 10 years? As alarms age, they experience something called “sensitivity drift” which may result in an increase in false alarms, which in turn can lead to residents disconnecting the alarms in frustration, which doesn’t do much to warn your family of danger.

The National Fire Protection Association shares these numbers about smoke alarms:

53 percentIn 2009-2013, smoke alarms sounded in more than half (53%) of the home fires reported to U.S. fire departments.

38 percentThree of every five home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms (38%) or no working smoke alarms (21%).

38 percentNo smoke alarms were present in almost two out of every five (38%) home fire deaths.


The death rate per 100 reported home fires was more than twice as high in homes that did not have any working smoke alarms compared to the rate in homes with working smoke alarms (1.18 deaths vs. 0.53 deaths per 100 fires).

46 percentIn fires in which the smoke alarms were present but did not operate, almost half (46%) of the smoke alarms had missing or disconnected batteries.

24 percentDead batteries caused one-quarter (24%) of the smoke alarm failures.

For any additional questions about how your property can be made safe against fire, contact Best Defense Fire Protection today!

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