Survey: Consumers Know More About Snack Cakes than Smoke Alarms

Oct 7, 2014

Mebane, NC, US

MEBANE, N.C., Oct. 7, 2014 – Working smoke alarms save lives, but results from a recent survey show that many Americans don’t know how long a smoke alarm will protect their families. According to the survey, conducted by ORC International on behalf of Kidde Fire Safety, nearly five times as many Americans know the shelf life of a Twinkie™ snack cake than the recommended operating life of a smoke alarm. Kidde Fire Safety, a leading manufacturer of residential fire safety products, is a part of UTC Building & Industrial Systems, a unit of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX).

In the survey, 44 percent of respondents correctly identified 45 days as the shelf life of a Twinkie™, while only 9 percent correctly noted 10 years as a smoke alarm’s operating life. According to data from reported fires, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) found that a working smoke alarm cuts the chances of dying in a fire in half. Almost three out of every five home fire deaths result from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms. Fire experts recommend replacing all smoke alarms every 10 years because aging models may not operate effectively.

"On the heels of the NFPA’s recent announcement that home fire deaths rose 16 percent in 2013, these survey results reiterate that fire safety is not top of mind with most American families," said Chris Rovenstine, vice president of marketing and sales, Kidde. "An American dies in a home fire nearly every three hours. Smoke alarms can provide an early alert and time needed to escape, and Kidde is committed to raising awareness about the continued need for families to have a fire safety plan."

The survey also found that nearly 50 percent of Americans spend 15 minutes or less shopping for new smoke alarms – products that could save their lives. Kidde’s Worry-Free product line is designed to make choosing the right alarm for the right location simple and quick. It is the first UL-listed comprehensive line of smoke, carbon monoxide (CO) and combination smoke/CO alarms containing a sealed, lithium battery that lasts 10 years. Available in both battery-only and hardwired with battery backup power options, the Worry-Free alarms offer a decade of protection without having to replace a battery or hear a low-battery chirp. At the end of its life span, the alarm notifies homeowners when it should be replaced. In addition, the alarms are available with location-based features, such as an LED light for the hallway alarms, and a voice warning in the hardwired combination alarm. The Worry-Free product line is available nationwide and will save consumers up to $40 in battery costs per alarm installed.

During Fire Prevention Week 2014, Oct. 5–11, Kidde encourages Americans to take a few minutes to review and follow these five simple home fire safety steps:

1. Replace smoke alarms every 10 years. If you don’t know when your home’s alarms were installed, replace them. Consider installing smoke alarms that contain a sealed-in, tamper-proof battery that will power the unit for 10 years, like Kidde’s Worry-Free alarms.

2. Place fire extinguishers within reach on every level of your home.

3. Install UL-listed carbon monoxide alarms on each floor and near bedrooms. A combination smoke/CO alarm will provide warning from both hazards in one unit.

4. Create an escape plan with your family.

5. Commit to being a safety hero by taking the pledge at Staying fire safe helps keep your family safer and reduces the risk of injury and death to firefighters and first responders.




About Kidde:

Kidde is a leading manufacturer of residential smoke alarms, carbon monoxide (CO) alarms and fire extinguishers, and has been delivering advanced fire-safety technology since it produced the first integrated smoke detection and carbon dioxide extinguishing system more than 90 years ago. Kidde is a part of UTC Building & Industrial Systems, a unit of United Technologies Corp., a leading provider to the aerospace and building systems industries worldwide. For more information, visit or follow @KiddeSafety on Twitter.

Twinkies® is a registered trademark and Twinkie™ is a trademark of Hostess Brands, LLC.

# # #

Kidde Media Contact
Heather Caldwell

Send An Inquiry