Smoke Detectors

Impact of Smoke Alarms

In the 1960s, the average U. S citizen had never heard of a smoke alarm. By 1995, an estimated 93% of all American homes (single and multi-family), apartments, nursing homes, dormitories, etc. were equipped with alarms. By the mid 1980s, smoke alarm laws, requiring that alarms be placed in all new and existing residences. This existed in 38 states and thousands of municipalities nationwide. Smoke alarm provisions have been adopted by all of the model building code organizations.

Fire Services

Fire services across the country have played a major and influential public education role in alerting the public to the benefits of smoke alarms. Another key factor in this huge and rapid penetration of both the marketplace and the builder community has been the development and marketing of low cost alarms by commercial companies. 


In the early 1970s, the cost of protecting a three bedroom home with professionally installed alarms was approximately $l,000. Today the cost of owner-installed alarms in the same house has come down to as little as $10 per alarm, or less than $50 for the entire home. This cost structure, combined with effective public education (including key private-public partnerships), has caused a huge percentage of America's consumers, whether they are renting or buying, to demand smoke alarm protection. 

Reducing the Risk

The impact of smoke alarms on fire safety and protection is dramatic and can be simply stated. When fire breaks out, the smoke alarm, functioning as an early warning system, reduces the risk of dying by nearly 50%. Alarms are most people's first line of defense against fire.

Properly Installed & Maintained

In the event of a fire, properly installed and maintained smoke alarms will provide an early warning signal to your household. This alarm could save your own life and those of your loved ones by providing the chance to escape.