New numbers show that fire detectors save more lives than expected.
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During the first three months of the year, at least 36 people have managed to save themselves from burning homes thanks to the smoke detector. It shows a recent survey conducted by the Norwegian Fire Protection Association.
“We have long known that the smoke detector helps to save lives by fire, but the number of people found in our first quarter survey is remarkably high,” says Dagfinn Kalheim, managing director of the Norwegian Fire Protection Association.
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The survey is based on a study of all housing fires that the Fire Protection Association has registered in the period from 1 January to 31 March this year. The study shows that the smoke detector has contributed to saving at least 36 lives during the first three months of the year. By comparison, previous research reports have concluded that the smoke detector saves approx. 10 lives per year.
– As far as our study and the 36-year-olds are concerned, we can make reservations if any of these could still be saved by anything but the smoke detector, Kalheim explains.
– We can not rule out people being saved by other things besides smoke detectors, agrees communications manager at Norsk Brannvernforening, Håvard Kleppe. “The smoke detector is the first warning, and helps people to be rescued,” he says.
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The figures in the survey confirm the importance of housing being equipped with smoke detectors that work.
The authorities have previously estimated that 500,000 people live in a dwelling without functioning smoke detectors.
– At the same time, we have statistics showing that only 48 percent of perpetrators in housing fires had smoke alarms installed in the home in the last five years. This is both tragic and meaningless when we know that the smoke detector is a cheap and very effective “lifeguard”, points out Kalheim.
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