Smoke Alarm Study

Being asleep at the time of a residential fire is an important risk factor for fire-related death. Although home fire safety professionals have expressed significant concerns regarding the ineffectiveness of conventional smoke alarms for sleeping children, relatively little research has been done on this important issue. 

The objective of this study is to determine the key smoke alarm characteristics that result in successful awakening of children and prompt their rapid escape. This is essential for the development of an effective and practical smoke alarm for sleeping children for use in homes and other locations where children sleep.

The 5-8 year old target group in this study merits attention because they are extraordinarily unlikely to awaken to a conventional residential smoke alarm and perform self-rescue in the event of a fire, and because our preliminary study strongly suggests that an effective and practical alarm for this age group is achievable.

Participating in the Study

To view details of the smoke alarm study process and to see if you or your child is eligible to participate, please visit the Smoke Alarm Study Participation page .


The Smoke Alarm Study is funded by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Additional Resources

For more information regarding home fire safety, please visit the Fire & Burns page.