Objectives: This study determined the proportion of homes with functioning smoke alarms in a low-income area experiencing a high rate of residential fire-related injuries.
Methods: An on-site survey of households was conducted to confirm the results of a telephone survey.
Results: In the telephone survey, 71% of households reported having functioning smoke alarms. In the household survey, 66% of households reported having functioning alarms; however, when the alarms were tested, the percentage dropped to 49%.
Conclusions: Telephone surveys may overestimate the presence of functioning smoke alarms in some populations. Thus, the use of telephone surveys to establish baseline measures could significantly affect the evaluation of smoke-alarm giveaway programs.