Ten adults and 11 children were displaced from their homes earlier this week after an apartment building caught fire in Auburn, New York. The Auburn Citizen reported that the fire was started by smoking materials, which caught fire in a trash can.
Fire officials noted that smoke alarms in one of the units were disabled because the batteries had been removed. The smoke alarm of a neighbor did sound, alerting people to get out.
According to NFPA statistics:
- Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in reported home fires in half.
- When smoke alarms fail to operate, it is usually because batteries are missing, disconnected, or dead.
- Three out of five home fire deaths in 2007-2011 were caused by fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.
Smoke Alarm Central on the NFPA website includes statistics, tips on installing smoke alarms, videos, and the Smoke Alarm Safety Tips sheet in English and Spanish. In addition, the smoke alarm community toolkit and the guide, Planning and implementing a Successful Smoke Alarm Installation Program offer fire and life safety educators tools for launching installation programs and public awareness campaigns.