Holiday Fire Safety and Enforcing a Smoke Detector Agreement


The holiday season festivities bring an increased excitement about adorning homes with traditional decorations, but as beautiful as they are, holiday decorations are an added fire hazard. Holiday decoration fires are most likely to happen in the living room, and almost half of all home decoration fires are started by candles, mostly because the decorations were placed too close to a heat source. In just seconds, a dry Christmas tree can become fully engulfed in flames.

An operable smoke detector is the most critical device for preventing deaths, injuries, and property loss from fires. According to research conducted by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), almost two-thirds (63 percent) of the home fire deaths in the United States were the result of fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms. And in more than half (53 percent) of the home fires in which smoke alarms were present but did not operate, the batteries were missing or disconnected.

And yet, despite the danger, a disabled or inoperable smoke detector is one of the most common violations cited by state housing agencies during tax credit site physical inspections. Why? Residents frequently will remove the smoke detector's batteries or otherwise disable it because of nuisance alarms caused by cooking fumes or steam from hot showers.

To help combat this, here's a smoke detector agreement, that you may provide to residents as a separate lease attachment to emphasize its importance.