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


  • Smith GA, Splaingard M, Hayes JR, Xiang H. Comparison of a personalized parent voice smoke alarm with a conventional residential tone smoke alarm for awakening children. Pediatrics. 2006;118(4):1623-32. PMID: 17015555

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