Roughly 70% of home fire deaths result from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms. Homes with smoke alarms (whether or not they are operational) typically have a death rate that is 40 to 50% less than the rate for homes without alarms. A 2008 survey found that 96% of the households surveyed had at least one smoke alarm.
In one-quarter of the reported fires in homes equipped with smoke alarms, the devices did not work. Households with non-working smoke alarms now outnumber those with no smoke alarms. When smoke alarms fail, it is most often because of missing, disconnected or dead batteries.
A recent survey showed that 30% of American household estimated that they would have at least 6 minutes before a fire in their home would become life-threatening. In actuality, the time available for safe escape is often much less. It’s critical for household to establish and regularly practice a fire escape plan so that everyone remembers what to do in case of an emergency.