Fire Prevention & Protection, Firefighter Training, Systems

Study Reveals Concerning Lack of Household Smoke Alarm Testing

In recognition of Fire Prevention Week, which is observed Oct. 5-11, Cintas Corporation (NASDAQ: CTAS) commissioned a study to determine how often Americans test their household fire alarms. The study revealed that 90 percent of U.S adults don’t test their alarms monthly, as recommended by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). The survey was conducted online by Harris Poll in September among 2,013 adults ages 18 and older.

“According to the NFPA, roughly two out of every three fire-related deaths happen in homes where a smoke detector isn’t present or working properly,” said John Amann, Vice President of Operations, Cintas Corporation. “Testing a smoke alarm is as easy as pushing a button, and yet, our survey findings suggest most of us still neglect to test these devices each month. This puts us and our families in danger.”

The survey indicates: 

Some adults (10 percent) test their smoke alarms at least once a month.
Nearly half of adults (48 percent) only test their alarms once or twice a year. 
Almost a quarter of adults (23 percent) don’t have alarms present in their home, don’t test their alarms or don’t know how often their alarms are tested. 

This lack of testing is a cause for concern as smoke spreads quickly once a fire ignites. According to the NFPA, working smoke alarms cut the chance of dying in a home fire in half. 

Fire Prevention Week was established to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire and raise awareness about the importance of fire safety. This year’s theme is “Working Smoke Alarms Save Lives: Test Yours Every Month!” and encourages people to take the pledge to test their fire alarms monthly.  

While smoke alarms should be tested at least once a month, it’s also important to keep in mind that they are extremely durable. The NFPA suggests replacing smoke alarms every 10 years. 

“All homes should have fire alarms present on every floor and inside and outside of all bedrooms,” added Amann. “Interconnected alarms are most ideal as when one is set off they will all sound. The important thing here is remembering how easy it is to ensure your family’s safety. All it takes is the push of a button.”

For information on Cintas fire protection services, please visit www.cintas.com/fire

Survey methodology:

This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of Cintas from Sept. 5-9, 2014 among 2,013 adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables and subgroup sample sizes, please contact Miranda Scott at [email protected]