myth #1: Smoke detectors are good enough

Check your Smoke Detector

Many Canadians believe that they are adequately protected by their Smoke Detectors.  The early detection of fire and smoke in your home is important, but often times homeowners have not maintained or correctly installed their detectors.  When was the last time you checked your detector?  Is there one on every level?  How old is it?  Is it hardwired into an alarm/security system?  Gold Seal Homes believes in smoke detectors, in fact we install one on each level of the home, they are linked to each other, and will notify our homeowner’s security company of any hazard.  Gold Seal Homes also installs and recommends the use of talking detectors that are more likely to wake children and hearing deficient residents as they sleep.  Like I said yesterday, I was going to stick to the facts,  so here they are regarding smoke detectors:

  • In the U.S., a home fire is reported every 78 seconds1
  • In 2008, home fires caused 83% of civilian fire deaths and $8.5 billion in property loss1
  • In 2003-2006, smoke alarms were present in only two-thirds (69%) of all reported home fires and operated in just under half (47%) of the reported home fires2
  • Working smoke alarms combined with fire sprinklers reduce the chance of death by 80% and average property loss by 71%3
  • No smoke alarms were present in 43% of the homes of fire deaths (4)
  • In 22% of the home fire deaths, smoke alarms were present but did not sound. (4)

1Fire Loss in the United States During 2008, by Michael J. Karter, Jr., NFPA, Quincy, MA, August 2009
2Smoke Alarms in U.S. Home Fires, by Marty Ahrens, NFPA, Quincy, MA, September 2009
3Bringing Safety Home Fact Sheet, Fire Sprinkler Initiative, source: 

(4)2004 NFPA study of US residential Fires


2 responses to “myth #1: Smoke detectors are good enough

  1. It is amazing to me how ignorant some people are about the facts and are willing to spread them with out verifying their information. I read the comments on the Calgary Herald story on sprinklers and all I could say is WOW!

    Good on you for bringing this forward and letting people know the truth!

  2. Thanks for that Dean: It is surprising the lack of response to the threat that residential fires pose to the public. In 2001 2,977 people died as the result of terrorist attacks on Sept 1. While this is a horrible tragedy, 3,140 died in the US in the same year due to fires in their own homes. These peoples lives are just as inportant, yet we are not spending millions of dollars a year to prevent it from happening again. These numbers continue to perish each year. That is a tragedy!

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