Absent or Malfunctioning Fire Alarms
The presence of a fire alarm is not enough. The device must function appropriately and the proprietor must check the wiring and change the batteries regularly. The NFPA cited missing, disconnected devices or dead batteries in 54 percent of reported fires in homes with battery-only smoke detectors. In 46 percent of fires in homes with hardwired smoke detectors, the device failed because of power-failure, shut-off or disconnect, with no working battery backup.