New Smoke Detector Campaign

12/1/20158 years ago

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smoke alarm image for a sound you can live with campaign

Fire Officials Launch New Smoke Alarm Public Awareness Campaign

Smoke Alarms – A Sound You Can Live With Focuses on Replacing Aging Smoke Alarms

Cambridge Fire Chief Gerald R. Reardon joins State Fire Marshal Stephen D. Coan and Wellesley Fire Chief Rick DeLorie, president of the Fire Chiefs’ Association of Massachusetts, announcing the launch of a new statewide smoke alarm public awareness campaign – Smoke Alarms: A Sound You Can Live With. Chief Reardon said, “Do you remember the last time you replaced your smoke alarms? Was it more than ten years ago? When you moved into or built your home? If you don’t remember, it may be time to do so.”

State Fire Marshal Coan said, “Most people know they are supposed to have working smoke alarms, but the one thing most people don’t know is that they should replace their entire alarms about every ten years.” Major manufacturers of smoke alarms indicate they have a service life of about ten years and recommend replacement after that.

Chief DeLorie said, “Over the course of ten years, we all replace many home appliances such as toasters, coffee makers, even refrigerators. No home appliance lasts forever. It’s important to replace aging smoke alarms too.”


Chief Reardon said, “This fall and winter, when you are cleaning and replacing the batteries in your smoke alarms, check the manufactured date stamped on the back of the alarm to see how old it is. If it doesn’t have one, then it is already more than ten years old and needs to be replaced.”

Smoke Alarms- A Sound You Can Live With

The statewide campaign is designed to support fire department education efforts and will include television and radio public service announcements (PSAs), transit ads, and social media.

No Working Smoke Alarms in 36% of Fire Deaths in 1 & 2-Family Homes

In 2014, you were more likely to die in a fire in a one- and two-family home than in any other residence and one without a working smoke alarm. There were 10% more fire deaths in one- and two-family homes than all other residential occupancies combined. Thirty-six percent of the fire deaths in one- and two-family homes occurred where there no working smoke alarms or where they failed to operate. In Massachusetts, one- and two family homes built before 1975 must have working smoke alarms that are less than ten years before they can be sold.

In a fire seconds count. Fire doubles in size every sixty seconds. The products in the modern home emit extremely toxic gases. Smoke and heat can make escape impossible in less than 2-3 minutes in the average home that does not have sprinklers. Working smoke alarms provide early warning and give families crucial seconds to use their escape plan.

For more information on smoke alarms and home escape plans, contact the Cambridge Fire Department at or the Department of Fire Services at