The other day, this writer’s parents informed her that they had just installed a working carbon monoxide detector.
I’d rather not find out how long they’ve been without a working one, but that revelation perfectly illustrates the findings of a recent survey by Qualtrics on behalf of Kidde, a manufacturer of residential fire safety products.
According to the survey, which was launched in conjunction with Home Safety Month in June, more than a quarter of U.S. homes built prior to 2002 — that’s about 17 million — may require updated fire safety equipment. Twenty percent of respondents have never replaced a smoke alarm, and another 6% haven’t replaced alarms in the last decade. Check out more stats from Kidde’s infographic on smoke alarm replacement:
Replacing those aging smoke alarms is extremely important for the safety of you and your family. According to a study by the Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center, a 10-year-old smoke alarm (the age which the National Fire Protection Association recommends replacement) has a 30% chance of not alarming due to age-related factors, such as dust accumulation, insects and airborne contaminants.
“The survey revealed that many people believe smoke alarms should be replaced more often than recommended, however, sales data shows consumers aren’t actually doing that,” said Chris Rovenstine, VP sales and marketing, Kidde, in a press release.
Other findings include:
• 67% of homeowners had four or fewer smoke alarms in their home, and 12% of those respondents only had one alarm. The average U.S. single-family home should have at least five alarms.
• Only 17% of respondents named smoke alarms as a home appliance that operates 24 hours/day, seven days/week.
When replacing alarms, choose a model containing a long-life sealed lithium battery, which offers maintenance-free protection for 10 years and never needs its battery replaced. A combination smoke/CO alarm offers protection from fire and carbon monoxide in one unit.
Need more home safety advice? Kidde and Safe Kids Worldwide have teamed up to hold safety events at select Home Depot stores across the country. For a list of locations and events, visit Kidde.com.
For even more smoke alarm safety tips, click here for advice from the National Fire Protection Association.