Background Children are at increased risk for death in the event of a home fire. Fire departments have used a number of approaches to increase the uptake of smoke alarms with mixed success. This presentation will describe a pilot study which partnered home visiting nurses with a local fire department in Phoenix, AZ to instal smoke alarms in high-risk, hard-to-reach homes with young children.
Methods During a regularly scheduled appointment, home visiting nurses with the Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) informed their clients about an opportunity to get free smoke alarms and recruited participants to the pilot study. Nurses sent a referral to the Phoenix Fire Department (PFD) for a smoke alarm installation. PFD responded to the next NFP appointment and installed long-life battery smoke and CO alarms in the home and provided safety education. Clients completed a follow up survey 3 months after the PFD installation visit. In-depth interviews were completed with key informants from NFP and PFD to solicit feedback on the program.
Results 58 clients were enrolled into the pilot study. To date, 41 smoke alarm installation visits have been completed and 33 follow up surveys were completed. Before the fire department arrived, 56% (n = 23/41) homes had no working smoke alarm. PFD installed 54 smoke alarms into 41 homes; every home had at least one working smoke alarm by the end of the home visit. At follow up, all homes maintained at least one working smoke alarm. Participants increased knowledge scores by 30%. Interviewees from both NFP and PFD spoke highly of the program and would like the program to continue. The program is consistent with the missions of both NFP and PFD.
Conclusion Partnering home visiting nurses and local fire departments can be a successful partnership to increase the number of homes with working smoke alarms.
- Fire Prevention
- Home visiting
- CO alarms
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