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Have You Updated Your Smoke Alarms?

Updated: Dec 15, 2020

Smoke detectors entered the codes in 1971. Smoke alarms were to be installed on the main floor of the residence.

In the early 1980’s some fire department went door to door installing smoke alarms. The use of detectors went up significantly in the 1980s and the fire death rate in home reflected this change.

Data from Trends and Patterns of U.S Fire Loss – January 2017, Marty Ahrens, National Fire Protection Association

In 1993, the code required that smoke alarms be installed inside bedrooms and outside the bedroom area of the home. A significant addition to the protection provided.

In 1995, the 10-year battery was introduced. This eliminated the missing or dead battery scenario that has been a major factor in smoke alarm performance.

In 2002, codes required that smoke alarms be replaced after 10 years of service. This recognized that the sensors in smoke alarms were subject to age and loss of sensitivity.

During the period of 1971 to today there has been another shift in the fire safety picture. The change in the fuel package present in homes. Underwriters Laboratories conducted fire tests of “legacy” furnishings from 25 years ago and modern furnishings. The results were dramatic. Modern furnishings had fire growth that created a fatal environment in 3 minutes. The older materials would take over 25 minutes to reach this same level of fire involvement. You can watch the fire test here.

During 2019 the NFPA reported 75% of fire deaths and 73% of fire injuries were in home fires. The danger is real and the hazard is more aggressive. Have you updated your home’s smoke alarms? Added additional detectors to the bedrooms? Replaced smoke alarms over ten years old? Do you have a home escape plan?

With the reduced time to escape a fire, you need to stack the deck in your favor. Updating your smoke alarms and fire safety plan is a great way to do this.

We encourage you to update your protection. If we can assist you in any way, please reach out to us at 513-977-6860 or contact us at We protect what you love…



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