Smoke alarms save lives. It’s important that they work when you need them to.

Photo of Rebekah Johnson laughing with her daughter

Rebekah Johnson

burn survivor

Rebekah Brewster Johnson knows what it’s like to push through against all odds to save a life, no matter the price. One night, this Santa Fe Community College biology major awoke to her entire rental home in flames, and her body literally on fire. Using the age old message “stop, drop and roll,” Rebekah was able to save herself, her roommates and her little furry friends. Rebekah sustained third degree burns over 47 percent of her body.

read her story 

Safety Standards

Enhanced Safety Standards: UL 217, UL 268

UL conducts scientific research and collaborates with stakeholders to understand the science of safety and inform safety Standards.

The Standards Technical Panels (STPs) that develop and maintain standards are comprised primarily of non-UL stakeholders, industry representatives, government, and a variety of experts to ensure a collaborative and balanced set of requirements are adopted in the Standard.

more about the enhanced standard 

Photo of a burning foam pad during smoke alarm testing

Facts & Tips

Homes – and home fires – have changed

Synthetic materials and lighter construction materials burn hotter and faster than the natural materials that constructed and furnished homes 40 years ago. Open floor plans allow fire to move through a home much quicker than in past decades, as well. The time a person has to safely escape a home fire has reduced from 17 minutes to 3 minutes.

Working smoke alarms save lives.

A working smoke alarm can save lives by warning of fires and giving people the most time possible to safely exit in case of a fire. The risk of dying from a home fire is cut in half if the home has a working smoke alarm. In 46 percent of home fires in which a smoke alarm was present but did not operate, the smoke alarm had missing or disconnected batteries.

Listed and labeled working smoke alarms that are within their 10-year lifespan continue to provide protection in the case of fire.

(Source: NFPA)

more facts & figures about smoke alarms 

If a fire happens in your home,
it’s important to get out and  stay out.

The best chance to survive a fire is:

  • Install smoke alarms in every sleeping room and outside each separate sleeping area. Install alarms on every level of the home. Interconnected alarms are best.
  • Follow manufacturers’ instructions on installation and maintenance.
  • Test smoke alarms at least once a month. Press the test button to be sure the alarm is working.
  • Replace all smoke alarms every 10 years.
  • Close bedroom doors at night to mitigate the spread of fire.
  • Have an escape plan – and practice it.
  • Consider home fire sprinklers.
  • Do not disable smoke alarms.

Press Center

Media Inquiries

If you are interested in interviewing a UL expert about our fire research, fire safety or the revised smoke alarm standard, please connect here:

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Use our latest videos to help you tell our story.

What the Beep

Ever wonder what all those different beeping sounds coming from your smoke alarm mean?

Dave’s Burgers

Cooking hamburgers is just one of the 50 tests UL smoke alarm technicians conduct.

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