Objective Families with young children are at increased risk for home fires. Fire departments have used a number of approaches to increase the uptake of smoke alarms in high-risk homes with mixed success. This presentation will describe a pilot study that partnered a nurse home visiting program for high-risk, low-income families with a local fire department in Phoenix, AZ to instal smoke alarms.
Methods During a regularly scheduled home visit, nurses with the Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) at the Maricopa County Department of Public Health informed their clients about an opportunity to have smoke alarms installed in their home. Nurses sent a referral to the Phoenix Fire Department (PFD) for a free smoke alarm installation for free. PFD volunteers accompanied nurses during a following appointment to instal smoke alarms and to provide safety education. Mixed Methods were used for the evaluation, including a 3-month follow-up survey of knowledge, observation of smoke alarms, and in-depth interviews with key informants from NFP and PFD.
Results 58 clients enrolled in the pilot study. To date, 41 smoke alarm installation visits and 33 follow-up surveys have been completed. Before the program, 56% (n = 23/41) of homes had no working smoke alarm. PFD installed 54 smoke alarms into 41 homes; every home had at least one smoke alarm by the end of the home visit. At follow-up, all homes maintained at least one smoke alarm. Clients increased knowledge scores by 30%. Interviewees from both NFP and PFD spoke highly of the program, found it to be consistent with their organisations’ missions, and would like it to continue. Final analyses of the full sample of follow-ups and of the qualitative interviews will be presented.
Conclusion Pairing home visiting nurses with local fire departments can be a successful approach to increasing the number of high-risk homes with smoke alarms.