Residential Smoke Detectors

The number of working smoke detectors in residentail housing units in the United States is listed below. This figures translates into a single smoke detector in 87% of all residential housing units in the country, which is an encouraging number. However, a more promising figure would be well over 100% since that would mean that many homes made use of more than a single smoke detector, as is recommended by the U.S. Fire Administration, part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, on its web site here.

Geographic reference: United States
Year: 2009
Market size: 116,141,000 detectors
Source: “Housing Units—Characteristics by Tenure and Region: 2009,”
Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2011, Table 983, page 616, U.S. Census Bureau.
Original Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census.


2 Responses to “Residential Smoke Detectors”

  1. Arsen Darnay Says:

    My guess is that most in service are like mine. I’ve no idea if it actually works — and easy methods of testing them, say by using a cigarette, ought to be publicized. Which reminds me that I ought to test mine. They’re battery-operated, it seems to me…

    • The Editors Says:

      It is actually quite easy to check most smoke detectors… there’s a button on them for that. I just tested one of ours and the screeching alram that went off when I hit the only button on the exterior of the disk shaped detector let me know that the batter was still good!

      Give it a try, by all means.

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