Risk Updates: Smoke Alarm Safety

More than 1.3 million fires were reported by fire departments in 2016, resulting in an estimated 3,390 civilian deaths—the highest number of fatalities since 2008.

Recently, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reported on Catastrophic Multiple-Death fires in 2016 and the details were both striking and tragically sad.

  • Three of every five home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.
  • No smoke alarms were present in more than one-third (37%) of the home fire deaths.
  • In one-quarter of the home fire deaths, smoke alarms were present but did not sound.
  • In reported home fires in which the smoke alarms were present but did not operate, almost half (47%) of the smoke alarms had missing or disconnected batteries. Nuisance alarms were the leading reason for disconnected smoke alarms.

As the weather starts to turn colder NOW is a good time to install and/or check your smoke detectors. $10 and 10 minutes can save everything precious to us!

The sad facts:

Tennessee- August, 1:21 a.m.

• 10 deaths including two children under the age of 6.
• Single-story frame home.
• No working smoke detectors.

New York- May, 3:50 a.m.
• 6 deaths.
• 2 ½ story frame single family home.
One smoke detector found- inoperable, missing a battery.

Nebraska- October, 12:05 a.m.
• 6 deaths including two children under the age of 6.
• Two-story frame home.
• No smoke detectors.

Georgia- October, 10:30 p.m.
• 6 deaths including four children under the age of 6.
• Single-story frame mobile home.
• No smoke detector

Virginia- January, 3:13 a.m.
• 5 deaths including two children under the age of 6.
• Two-story frame single family home.
• There was evidence of smoke detection being present but they did not operate and had been disconnected.

Michigan- January, 9:31 a.m.
• 5 deaths
• Two-story frame home
• Smoke detection had been installed but had been disconnected.

Georgia- October, 3:34 a.m. 
• 5 deaths
• Two-story split level frame single family home.
• There were smoke alarms in the home but they did not operate as the batteries had been removed.

About Oswald Risk Consulting:

Oswald’s Risk Consulting services are designed to reduce your exposure to liability and loss, while also lessening the frequency and severity of losses. Our dedicated specialists are highly experienced and seasoned professionals who work closely with you to develop and maintain successful safety and risk management loss prevention.

Lara Ward 
Loss Control Advisor

Note: This communication is for informational purposes only. Although every reasonable effort is made to present current and accurate information, Oswald makes no guarantees of any kind and cannot be held liable for any outdated or incorrect information. View our communications policy.

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