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1 in 3 households misreports smoke alarm coverage
Date:4/25/2012

" said Andrea Gielen, ScD, ScM, director of the John Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy, and senior author of the report. "Particularly troubling is the fact that one in three of the follow-up respondents indicated they reported greater coverage than they actually had because they knew they should." This social desirability bias occurred despite the fact that respondents had been informed that data collectors would be testing alarms in the home as part of the interview. "The implication for both researchers who survey residents and firefighters who canvass communities is that it's critical to confirm smoke alarm status with actual testing of the alarms," added Gielen.

"Given the huge public health toll of residential fires in the U.S., every effort should be made to keep people safe in their homes," concluded Shields. "Public education efforts should include specific instructions on how to check alarm functionality and on the importance of having an alarm on every level of the house. More widespread use of the new 10-year lithium battery alarms would also make it easier for residents to keep their homes and families protected."


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Contact: Tim Parsons
tmparson@jhsph.edu
410-955-7619
Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health
Source:Eurekalert

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