Residential Fire Injury Prevention Program
In 1989, data from the Injury Prevention Burn Surveillance System indicated that south Oklahoma City had the highest rate of house fire-related injuries in the state of Oklahoma. Injuries were plotted on an Oklahoma City map; 45 percent of the injuries occurred in a four-zip code area in south Oklahoma City where only 16 percent of the population lived. Consequently, the area was targeted for a smoke alarm giveaway program.
The Injury Prevention Service implemented the program in 1990 in collaboration with the Oklahoma City Fire Department, Oklahoma County Chapter of the American Red Cross, and City-County Health Department of Oklahoma County. More than 500 volunteers from numerous state and local agencies, businesses, civic organizations, churches, and schools helped distribute more than 10,000 smoke alarms in the targeted area. Through the program, approximately 80 percent of the estimated homes in the area without a smoke alarm received one.
Four years following the program, the injury rate per 100 residential fires decreased 73 percent in the target area compared to a 31 percent increase in the injury rate in the rest of Oklahoma City. It is calculated that more than 60 injuries and deaths were prevented in this area during the 5 years after the program was implemented. Cost-benefit analysis suggests that for every $1 spent on this program over $20 was saved in prevented costs associated with injury reduction.
Using the south Oklahoma City project as a basis, the Injury Prevention Service implemented similar projects in other communities with high rates of residential fire injuries. Since 1994, nearly 60,000 smoke alarms were distributed in more than 50 communities.
Beginning in 2006, the Injury Prevention Service received additional federal funding to continue this program for another five years.
Smoke Alarm Programs Save Lives
- In Woodward County, a family was saved weeks after receiving a smoke alarm through the LifeSavers II project.
- In 1996, a smoke alarm obtained through the LifeSavers II project in Purcell saved five family members.
- From 1998-2000, smoke alarms obtained through IPS projects are known to have saved 7 people in Oklahoma City, Tulsa, and Muskogee.
- During the 5-year project, between 2001-2006, program smoke alarms are known to have saved 24 lives in McClain, Custer, Choctaw, Lincoln, and Rogers counties.
Informational and Educational Materials
- LifeSavers II: A Guide to Smoke Detector Projects is a step-by-step guide to planning and conducting a smoke detector giveaway project.
- Pamphlet: House Fires: Causes and Prevention (also available in Spanish)
- Pamphlet: LifeSavers: How to Survive a House Fire (also available in Spanish)
- Fact sheets concerning burn injuries
- Injury Free Oklahoma 2010-2015: Strategic Plan for Injury and Violence Prevention — Residential Fires
Click on the article name to read the abstract.
- Bowles, Mallonee. Non-fire carbon monoxide-related deaths, Oklahoma, 1994-2003. Journal of the Oklahoma State Medical Association 2007;100(10):276-9.
- Haddix, Mallonee, Waxweiler, Douglas. Cost-effectiveness of the Oklahoma Smoke Alarm Giveaway Program. Injury Prevention 2001;7(4):276-281.
- Istre, Mallonee. Commentary: Smoke alarms and prevention of house-fire-related deaths and injuries. Western Journal of Medicine 2000;173:92-93.
- Mallonee S. Evaluating injury prevention programs: the Oklahoma City smoke alarm project. Future Child. 2000 Spring-Summer;10(1):164-74.
- Douglas, Mallonee, Istre. Estimating the proportion of homes with functioning smoke alarms: A comparison of telephone survey and household survey results. American Journal of Public Health 1999;89:1112-1114.
- Shults, Sacks, Briske, Dickey, Kinde, Mallonee, Douglas. Evaluation of three smoke detector promotion programs. American Journal of Preventive Medicine 1998;15(3):165-171.
- Douglas, Mallonee, Istre. Comparison of community-based smoke detector distribution methods in an urban community. Injury Prevention 1998;4:28-32.
- Mallonee, Istre, Rosenberg, et. al. Surveillance and prevention of residential fire injuries. New England Journal of Medicine 1996;335:27-31.
Call (405) 271-3430 to receive reprints of any of these articles.