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Peer Review

Investigative Report on Fatal Residential Structure Fires with Operational Smoke Alarms

by U.S. Fire Administration


Overall Numeric Rating:

4 stars
Content Quality: 4 stars
Effectiveness: 3.5 stars
Ease of Use: 4.25 starsstar
Reviewed: Jun 23, 2009 by Fire Safety
Overview: This report gives data with respect to operational smoke detectors and fatal fires. This is important reading for AHJs and Public Education officers as well as students interested in the administrative side of the fire service.
Type of Material: Reference Material
Recommended Uses: A reference source for compiling a term paper or additional material for Life Safety Educators.
Technical Requirements: Internet browser, Adobe Acrobat Reader
Identify Major Learning Goals: To provide historical information about the efficiency of smoke detectors in residential fires with fatalities.
Target Student Population: Public Fire and Life Safety Educators, Research Students
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: NO prerequisites for students interested in fire protection

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 4 stars
Strengths: This report does a great job summarizing a large number of statistics concerning the use and efficiency of smoke detectors in residential structure fires. It provides concise figures for inclusion in a research paper or for compiling figures for a Public Fire Education class. These figures include leading causes of fires and the number of fatalities in those fires for a 4 year period.
Concerns: No real concerns in terms of the quality of the material

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 3.5 stars
Strengths: The report is concise and begins by laying out general numbers in terms of fires, fatalities, and dollar cost for the period the report covers. It then breaks down demographics of fire causes, age groups affected, proximal causes of smoke detector inefficiency, and other proximal causes of fatality. The report then makes several recommendations about smoke detector use.
Concerns: This report is not designed to be a stand-alone subject. It may be included in a Fire Investigation class, and should be included in a Public Fire and Life Safety Educator’s course.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 4.25 stars
Strengths: The report is well laid out and easy to read. Each concept presented builds on the previous concept.
Concerns: No real concerns.

Other Issues and Comments: No other issues