First Alert is providing a generous contribution to the Institution of Fire Engineers-USA Branch Vision 20/20 project ( to support research into effective smoke alarm messaging. Each year, approximately 2,500 people die in home fires and two-thirds of these occur in homes with either no smoke alarms or working smoke alarms.

This project will focus on developing messages to encourage people to install and maintain smoke alarms in their homes, the very place where they are most at risk from a fire.

This messaging project, being undertaken by Vision 20/20’s Strategy 2 Prevention Marketing task group, is a continuation of a previous market analysis project that helped develop the message “Fire is Everyone’s Fight.” That unifying fire safety theme is part of a national education and marketing campaign, led by the United States Fire Administration, to promote the importance of fire prevention efforts. This message was developed after extensive evaluation and focus group testing by a marketing firm working closely with fire professionals from across the nation. The same strategy will be used for this new project.

“Smoke alarms save lives in a fire, but they can’t help people if they’re missing or not working,” said Deborah Hanson, director of external affairs at First Alert. “Through this partnership with the Vision 20/20 project, we are looking forward to the results of this research that can help people understand the importance of a working smoke alarm in saving lives.”

“We really appreciate the support from First Alert,” added Vision 20/20 Project Manager Jim Crawford.  “We know that there is a large problem of non-working smoke alarms in homes across the country and we are committed to seeing that change through effective messaging as part of a comprehensive prevention effort.  Effective messaging can help save lives.” 

Vision 20/20 is a collaborative project of the Institution of Fire Engineers-USA Branch that was started as a grass-roots movement in 2006 to help fill in the gaps in fire prevention. It has been funded by several DHS Fire Prevention and Safety Grants as well as by the private sector, supporting a series of research projects relating to fire prevention and safety. Vision 20/20 is comprised of fire safety experts from across the nation, volunteering their time, and is guided by an Advisory Committee made up of representatives from national fire and safety organizations.  More information can be found at

2011 United States Fire Facts according to the National Fire Protection Association


  • 3,005: civilian fire deaths
  • 17,500: civilian fire injuries
  • 61: number of fire fighter deaths
  • 1,400,000: number of fires reported
  • $11,700,000,000: property damage caused by fire
  • 2/3: Portion of fatal fires without a working smoke alarm
  • 23 seconds: A fire department responses to a fire
  • 65 seconds: A structure fire is reported
  • 30 minutes: Someone is injured in a fire
  • 2 hours and 55 minutes: Someone dies in a fire
  • Cooking: Leading cause of home fires
  • Smoking: Leading cause of home fire deaths


The Institution of Fire Engineers – USA is an organization dedicated to promoting and encouraging the improvement of the science and practice of fire engineering, prevention and suppression.  More information can be found at