Document Detail

Validity of smoke alarm self-report measures and reasons for over-reporting.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22505636     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
ObjectivesMany residential fire deaths occur in homes with no or non-functioning smoke alarms (SAs). Self-reported SA coverage is high, but studies have found varying validity for self-report measures. The authors aim to: (1) determine over-reporting of coverage, (2) describe socio-demographic correlates of over-reporting and (3) report reasons for over-reporting.MethodsThe authors surveyed 603 households in a large, urban area about fire safety behaviours and then tested all SAs in the home. 23 participants who over-reported their SA coverage were telephoned and asked about why they had misreported.ResultsFull coverage was reported in 70% of households but observed in only 41%, with a low positive predictive value (54.2%) for the self-report measure. Most over-reporters assumed alarms were working because they were mounted or did not think a working alarm in a basement or attic was needed to be fully protected.ConclusionsIf alarms cannot be tested, researchers or those counselling residents on fire safety should carefully probe self-reported coverage. Our findings support efforts to equip more homes with hard-wired or 10 year lithium battery alarms to reduce the need for user maintenance.
Rebecca Stepnitz; Wendy Shields; Eileen McDonald; Andrea Gielen
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2012-4-13
Journal Detail:
Title:  Injury prevention : journal of the International Society for Child and Adolescent Injury Prevention     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1475-5785     ISO Abbreviation:  -     Publication Date:  2012 Apr 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-4-16     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9510056     Medline TA:  Inj Prev     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Department of Health Policy and Management, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.
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