Prevalence of working smoke alarms in local authority inner city housing: randomised controlled trial


Rowland, D; DiGuiseppi, C; Roberts, I; Curtis, K; Roberts, H; Ginnelly, L; Sculpher, M; Wade, A; (2002) Prevalence of working smoke alarms in local authority inner city housing: randomised controlled trial. BMJ, 325 (7371). pp. 998-1001. ISSN 1468-5833 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.325.7371.998

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Abstract

OBJECTIVES: To identify which type of smoke alarm is most likely to remain working in local authority inner city housing, and to identify an alarm tolerated in households with smokers. DESIGN: Randomised controlled trial. SETTING: Two local authority housing estates in inner London. Participants: 2145 households. INTERVENTION: Installation of one of five types of smoke alarm (ionisation sensor with a zinc battery; ionisation sensor with a zinc battery and pause button; ionisation sensor with a lithium battery and pause button; optical sensor with a lithium battery; or optical sensor with a zinc battery). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Percentage of homes with any working alarm and percentage in which the alarm installed for this study was working after 15 months. RESULTS: 54.4% (1166/2145) of all households and 45.9% (465/1012) of households occupied by smokers had a working smoke alarm. Ionisation sensor, lithium battery, and there being a smoker in the household were independently associated with whether an alarm was working (adjusted odds ratios 2.24 (95% confidence interval 1.75 to 2.87), 2.20 (1.77 to 2.75), and 0.62 (0.52 to 0.74)). The most common reasons for non-function were missing battery (19%), missing alarm (17%), and battery disconnected (4%). CONCLUSIONS: Nearly half of the alarms installed were not working when tested 15 months later. Type of alarm and power source are important determinants of whether a household had a working alarm.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Equipment Failure, Family Characteristics, Housing/*statistics & numerical data, Human, Logistic Models, London/epidemiology, Multivariate Analysis, Odds Ratio, Power Sources, Protective Devices/*statistics & numerical data, Support, Non-U.S. Gov't, Urban Health, Equipment Failure, Family Characteristics, Housing, statistics & numerical data, Human, Logistic Models, London, epidemiology, Multivariate Analysis, Odds Ratio, Power Sources, Protective Devices, statistics & numerical data, Support, Non-U.S. Gov't, Urban Health
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health > Dept of Population Health (2012- ) > Dept of Nutrition and Public Health Interventions Research (2003-2012)
Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health > Dept of Population Health (2012- )
Research Centre: Centre for Global Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs)
PubMed ID: 12411356
Web of Science ID: 179415600018
URI: http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/17535

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