Most all jurisdictions have extensive regulations regulating and requiring the use of smoke detectors/alarms. The reason is that smoke alarms have proven very effective in reducing the number of fatalities due to structure fires. However, despite these regulations many landlords and building owners still do not equip their buildings with adequate functioning smoke detectors. Often times, following a residential fire the Fire Department notes the presence of ceiling mounted smoke detectors only to open them up and discover they do not have batteries.
The following statistic from the National SAFE KIDS Campaign and the United States Fire Administration (part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency) illustrates this exact point. By 1995, the majority of homes (93 percent) in the United States had at least one smoke alarm. However, only 74 percent of all homes had at least one working smoke alarm.