During a Vision 20/20 workshop on smoke alarms in March 2015, conducting a national census (or representative in‐home survey) on the prevalence and characteristics of smoke alarms was identified as the top action item among the fifty‐nine stakeholder participants. Previous work on this topic includes a national survey conducted by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) in the early 1990s, which gathered field data from 1,000 in‐person interviews on the numbers and types of smoke alarms installed in homes, the ways in which they fail, factors leading to non‐working alarms, and types of households more likely to have non‐working smoke alarms.
There was agreement that while this data set has proven useful that there is a need to update this information with new data on the use and functionality of smoke alarms in homes across the US. In addition, there is very little data related to the use and functionality of carbon monoxide (CO) alarms in homes. To fill the data gaps, CPSC is moving forward with an in‐home representative survey across the US to assess the use and functionality of smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms.
To gather feedback from stakeholder groups for this planned survey, the Research Foundation and CPSC hosted a Workshop for Survey on Usage and Functionality of Smoke Alarms and CO Alarms in Households in Bethesda, Maryland on February 16, 2017. Stakeholders that participated included representatives from the fire service, enforcers/AHJs, public educators, researchers, equipment manufacturers, standards developers, and others. The feedback gathered helped inform the questions and methodology of the survey as well as how results will be communicated.
Research goal: Conduct an in‐home representative survey across the US to assess the use and functionality of smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms to inform educational activities, codes and standards development, and to improve the performance of alarms in households.