Here's an NFPA history lesson: the requirement for smoke alarms in one- and two-family dwellings made its debut in the 1976 edition of NFPA 101®, Life Safety Code®. Only one smoke "detector" (as they were referred to in this edition of the code) was required, and its location wasn't specified in the code.
In the latest issue of NFPA Journal, columnist Chip Carson discusses how the Life Safety Code has continually expanded the number of smoke alarms required in homes, which has contributed to a decline in civilian fire deaths since 1976.
"Even so, there is more work to do," says Carson. "NFPA data indicates that more than four million households in the U.S. remain unprotected. Other studies have found that in some high-risk neighborhoods more than 75 percent of homes do not have working smoke alarms."
Read Carson's suggested solutions to this problem in the latest edition of Journal.