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Most homes do not have enough smoke alarms: survey

October 14, 2010

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Although 96 percent of American homes are equipped with at least one smoke alarm, many homeowners do not have an adequate number of alarms and do not test them often enough, according to survey results released last week by the National Fire Protection Association.

Quincy, MA-based NFPA recommends homes be equipped with a smoke alarm on every level, including one in every bedroom and outside every sleeping area, but the survey indicated only 42 percent of homes had more than one smoke alarm. Less than one-quarter of respondents reported having interconnected alarms that cause all alarms in the house to sound when one is triggered.

When asked about testing, 40 percent of respondents reported testing their smoke alarm at least every couple of months, while 24 percent said they test twice a year and 11 percent reported never testing the alarms. NFPA recommends checking smoke alarms monthly and replacing them at least every 10 years.

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