Changes in smoke alarm coverage following two fire department home visiting programs: what predicts success?

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3 Scopus citations


Background: Door-to-door canvassing and installation of smoke alarms have been found to be effective at increasing the number of homes protected. This analysis reports on how smoke alarm coverage changes six months after a home visiting program in a large urban sample, and how this change varies by characteristics of the residents and characteristics of the services delivered during the home visit. Methods: Fire department Standard and Enhanced home visiting programs were compared. During the home visit, fire fighters installed lithium battery smoke alarms. Residents in the Enhanced program received tailored education about fire safety. Six months after the home visit, participating residences were visited to complete a follow-up survey and to have the installed alarms checked. Results: 81% of the 672 homes that had a working smoke alarm on every level of the home at the end of the home visit remained safe at follow-up, and 87% of the residents found the home visit was very useful, and these rates did not differ between the Enhanced and Standard programs. The degree to which firefighters delivered their services varied, although households in which the resident’s engagement with the fire department team was rated as excellent were 3.96 times as likely to be safe at follow-up compared to those with poor or fair resident engagement (p=0.03). Conclusions: There is a need to better understand how to maximize the time spent with residents during smoke alarm home visiting programs. This study helps with the development of methods needed for implementing and evaluating such programs in real-world settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number30
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalInjury Epidemiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2014


  • Community health workers
  • Community intervention
  • Fires and burns
  • Home visits
  • Injury prevention
  • Smoke alarms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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