Although smoke alarms with lithium batteries are often marketed as ‘10-year alarms’, on average, these alarms do not remain functional for 10 years. This paper describes self-reported reasons for non-working lithiumbattery alarms 6–9 months following a smoke alarm installation programme. Data presented are for a cohort of 754 homes that participated in the installation programme and subsequently completed follow-up. A total of 1487 smoke alarms were installed. At followup, 126 alarms (8%) were missing and 37 (3%) were observed to be non-working. Of the non-working alarms, residents reported that they had been disabled 57% of the time. Reasons for disabling the alarms most often included that the battery was chirping (38%) or that it sounded while someone was cooking (24%). Smoke alarm installation programmes using lithiumbattery alarms should consider highlighting education about smoke alarm maintenance, the hush feature and resources to replace alarms that malfunction soon after installation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health