New Smoke Alarm Technology and the Impact on Public Safety
October 16, 2019
UL FSRI Launches Smoke Alarm Public Safety Campaign

The UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute (FSRI) in collaboration with UL Standards, has kicked off a public safety campaign around smoke alarms that will:

  • Educate the public about the life-saving benefits of having working smoke alarms and reinforce the habit of testing smoke alarms regularly
  • Drive home the point that, just like any important relationship, your relationship with your smoke alarms – and by extension your safety, your life and the lives of your loved ones – is worth the effort.
  • Inform stakeholders about new performance-based technology requirements included in the latest editions of UL Standards for Smoke Alarms (UL 217) and Smoke Detectors (UL 268).

UL Presents: Smoke Alarm Friendship Stories

Utilizing a series of short, consumer-friendly videos and accompanying microsite with resources for both the public and public safety educators, the UL FSRI team is extending its public fire safety messaging to address the importance of having working smoke alarms in your home.

New Smoke Alarm Technology

Forty years ago, people had 17 minutes to escape their home in the event of a fire. Today, fire is faster due to synthetic fabrics in furniture, lighter construction materials, and open floor plans, leaving people with three minutes or less to escape. Every one of these minutes counts and smoke alarms can give people the earliest warning possible that there’s a fire, so they can get out quickly and safely.

The UL Standard for smoke alarms was recently updated to require new technology that enable alarms to better differentiate between the smoke from cooking and that of an actual, potentially life-threatening fire. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) cite cooking nuisance alarms as the leading reason for a smoke alarm to be disabled. This practice is extremely dangerous as the NFPA also shares that roughly three out of five home-fire deaths occur in residences where there are no working smoke alarms.

For more information and resources on smoke alarms and their new technology, visit

Take action by reminding your community of these simple life-saving steps:

  • Have working smoke alarms on every level of your home, including inside and outside every sleeping area
  • Have an escape plan and practice it, know how to get out if there is a fire
  • Close Before You Doze. A closed door can be an effective barrier against deadly levels of carbon monoxide, smoke and flames, keeping rooms survivable longer.
UL Smoke Alarm Friendship Stories - What's Cooking
UL Smoke Alarm Friendship Stories - Candle Catastrophe
UL Smoke Alarm Friendship Stories - Sweet Dreams
UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute is dedicated to increasing firefighter knowledge to reduce injuries and deaths in the fire service and in the communities they serve.