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October 29, 1999

CPSC Warns the Smoke Detectors in About 16 Million Homes Do Not Work

Washington, D.C. (SafetyAlerts) - According to a survey conducted by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), about 90 percent of U.S. households have smoke detectors installed. However, the survey found that the smoke detectors in 20 percent of those households -- about 16 million -- were not working, mostly because the battery was dead or missing.

Fire is the second leading cause of unintentional death in the home. Each year, more than 3,700 people die in residential fires, and there are more than 400,000 residential fires serious enough to be reported to fire departments.

"Smoke detectors can save lives, but they won't work if they are not maintained," said CPSC Chairman Ann Brown. "They should be tested monthly, and the batteries should be replaced at least once a year or when they make a 'chirping' sound."

Long-life smoke detectors with 10-year batteries have been available to consumers since 1995. These long-life detectors also should be tested monthly

CPSC recommends consumers place a smoke detector that meets the requirements of Underwriters Laboratories' (UL) standard outside their bedrooms and on each level of multi- story homes. CPSC has worked to strengthen smoke detector performance and installation requirements.

Have you checked for recalls on your Smoke, Heat, fire and Carbon Monoxide Detectors?  Here is a link to the most recent recalls in the U.S. Click Here - if you want to look for the above mentioned products visit the 'Household' category - or use the search engine.  Don't forget to sign up for SafeMail.


Selected Recent Recalls

Health Professional:

Did you know?
During 2000 there were over
1050 products recalled in the United
States for safety reasons!

How many did you hear about?

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