Escape, Fire & Smoke Alarms

Dear friends and family. I don’t forward a lot of stuff but this is one I really want you to read and to take to heart. For the kids getting this, bug your parents until they upgrade their alarms and until they develop and practice a fire escape plan. For the adults, I have too few friends and family to lose any to carelessness.

The following statement along with the brochure about CO is in every inspection report I do. Sadly, when I follow up, only about 2% have followed the advice. Last year, we lost a wonderful doctor and his family of five to an electrical fire because the smoke alarms were not functioning. This was a $2M house. He just took for granted that the old alarms would work.

-----Original Message-----
From: []
Sent: Friday, March 09, 2007 2:40 PM
Subject: News from CPSC and USFA - Press Release

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
United States Fire Administration

CPSC and USFA News

March 9, 2007
Release # 07-124

CPSC Hotline: (800) 638-2772
CPSC Media Contact: (301) 504-7908
USFA Media Contact: (301) 447-1853

CPSC and USFA Encourage Consumers to Spring Forward with Fire Safety in

News stories reported at least 200 people killed in home fires in first
three weeks of February

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Each year, families and homeowners are reminded by
the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and U.S. Fire
Administration (USFA) to ensure that their smoke alarms are working
properly and have fresh batteries. With daylight saving time coming up
on Sunday, CPSC and USFA are adding a new message: use the time change as an opportunity to take a fresh look at your family’s fire escape

While smoke alarms have helped save countless lives over the past 30
years, research has shown that children younger than 16 may not reliably
wake up when the alarm goes off. The fact that children may sleep
through the sound of a smoke alarm must be taken into account when
creating the family fire escape plan.

CPSC, USFA, the National Fire Protection Association, International
Association of Fire Chiefs, and International Association of Fire
Fighters all recommend that families conduct a fire escape drill either
late at night or early in the morning. This drill will help parents
determine if their child/children are awakened by and able to respond to
the sound of a smoke alarm. For those children who do not respond, the
traditional fire escape plan of everyone meeting at a common location
outside the home may leave them at risk. The fire safety community
encourages parents and caregivers to assist children in getting to a
safe location when an alarm activates at a time when they are asleep.

“No community can put a firefighter on every street corner. Everyone
can, however, put a firefighter on duty 24 hours a day and 7 days a week
by having and using working smoke alarms in their homes,” said USFA
Acting Administrator Charlie Dickinson.

“Smoke alarms save lives - everyone should have working alarms on each
floor of their house and inside every bedroom,” said CPSC Acting
Chairman Nancy Nord. “So that even more lives can be saved in the
future, the fire safety community is currently working to improve smoke
alarm audibility for children.”

Consumers should replace their smoke alarms every 10 years since the
sensors in these devices can degrade because of environmental
contamination and from age. In addition to replacing batteries in smoke
alarms at least once every year, CPSC and USFA recommend testing them monthly. Battery backup is an important consideration for those alarms that are powered by your home’s electrical system.

Between 1999 and 2003, there were an estimated 356,000 unintentionally
set residential fires reported to fire departments annually. These fires
resulted in an estimated annual average of 2,500 deaths and 14,000

CPSC staff came to the following conclusions about children and smoke
alarms in a 2004 report on this issue:

  • Children under the age of 16 have longer periods of deep sleep compared to adults

  • Current smoke alarms do not reliably wake children under the age of 16.

  • Various home configurations and locations of smoke alarms can limit the transmission of sound throughout the house.

  • Interconnected smoke alarms can provide earlier warning of smoke and
    fire and placing them inside bedrooms may provide improved warning when bedroom doors are closed.

CPSC and USFA have produced a new one-minute public service announcement
(PSA) on the importance of having working smoke alarms and an effective
fire escape plan. To view video versions or hear the audio version, and
to see graphics associated with this release, please go to:

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting
the public from unreasonable risks of serious injury or death from more
than 15,000 types of consumer products under the agency’s jurisdiction.
Deaths, injuries and property damage from consumer product incidents
cost the nation more than $700 billion annually. The CPSC is committed
to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire,
electrical, chemical, or mechanical hazard or can injure children. The
CPSC’s work to ensure the safety of consumer products - such as toys,
cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters, and household chemicals -
contributed significantly to the 30 percent decline in the rate of
deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 30

To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury, call CPSC’s
hotline at (800) 638-2772 or CPSC’s teletypewriter at (800) 638-8270, or
visit CPSC’s web site at To join a CPSC email
subscription list, please go to Consumers can
obtain this release and recall information at CPSC’s Web site at

You are currently subscribed to the email list “releases” as:

To unsubscribe, please do one of the following:
(1) go to and use the on-line form
(2) send a blank email to

You can also go to to change your
subscription, or unsubscribe an old address and subscribe a new one.

This message is from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission,
an independant federal regulatory agency, located at 4330 East West
Highway, Bethesda, MD 20814 Toll-free hotline: (800) 638-2772

Thank you.

Thanks for the link…

Thanks for the link…


My pleasure, now please go and change your batteries, inspectors are not immune to fire or tragedy. I’m going around this weekend to do battery replacements for previous clients. PR, marketing, and community service rolled into one.


In all of my reports that have smoke detectors.

Man, that’s some kinda report your doing and a new one to me…what kinda paper does that :mrgreen:

Zig Zag :twisted:

I didn’t know you spoke French?

Thanks for the above info, Barry!

Brian, you’re welcome. After doing a lot of further research and looking for real quality CO detector/alarmsfor our house and for our kid’s houses this is the product I chose and recommend to clients.

Also have them in our rentals and travel trailer.

Most of the crap on the market is just that, imo.

I get about 20 local FD referral calls a year to come check for CO because of false alarming.
1-2 have real CO issues when I show up.

The FD around here respond, check ambient air upon entry and tell them to get an inspector to further investigate to isolate the source, if any.

If anyone is doing CO inspections I would hope you are having your equipment calibrated and following this or stricter Protocol

Barry, Thank You for your post. I religiously change my smoke alarm batteries every New Years Day. Doug

Antique Fire Alarm (circa 1957)

In a 1960 Newspaper, these were claimed to be “guaranteed for 30 years”…

*Barry, I like the brochure. Do you provide that in the report or a link in an electronic report?

Also, are you saying you include the CPSC article in every report as well? Hmmm…

The following text is in all of my reports. Anyone is welcome to copy and paste. It is not original with me, but it has bits and pieces from several sources (I think…it has been awhile).

“Every home should have a smoke detector outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement. The National Fire Alarm Code, developed by NFPA, requires a smoke detector in each sleeping room for new construction. On floors without bedrooms, detectors should be installed in or near living areas, such as dens, living rooms, or family rooms.
Be sure everyone sleeping in your home can hear your smoke detector’s alarms. If any residents are hearing-impaired or sleep with bedroom doors closed, install additional detectors inside sleeping areas as well. There are special smoke detectors for the hearing impaired; these flash a light in addition to sounding an audible alarm.
For extra protection, NFPA suggests installing detectors in dining rooms, furnace rooms, utility rooms, and hallways. Smoke detectors are not recommended for kitchens, bathrooms, or garages (where cooking fumes, steam or exhaust fumes could set off false alarms) or for attics and other unheated spaces where humidity and temperature changes might affect a detector’s operation.
Wall-mounted alarms should be installed so the top is 6 to 12 inches (15-30 cm) from the ceiling. Ceiling-mounted units should be installed at least 6 inches (15 cm) from any wall. If a room has a vaulted ceiling, mount the alarm at or near the ceiling’s highest point. In stairways with no doors at the top or bottom, position alarms in the path smoke would follow up the stairwell. Mount alarms at the bottom of closed stairways, such as those leading to a basement. Dead air trapped near the door at the top of a stairway could prevent smoke from reaching an alarm located at the top. Do not install an alarm too close to windows, doors, forced-air registers, or ceiling fans where drafts could interfere with the detector’s operation.”


I only do links in electronic report format, unless ther rare occassion where they don’t have Email and I’ll snail mail. Here are the links in all reports. along with the other CO info I’ve posted in this thread.](

:cool: :cool: :cool:

I’d have to say
The Fire alarm unit(s) present have exceeded their normal life expectancy and may not provide proper protection. Advise replacement immediately. :mrgreen:

In your jurisdiction, is there any requirement for the interconnection of detectors so that if one senses smoke, all will sound?