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Providing free smoke alarms did not reduce fire related injuries in a deprived multiethnic urban population

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QUESTION: Does providing free smoke alarms to a deprived, multiethnic population reduce fires and related injuries?


Cluster randomised {allocation concealed},* blinded {clinicians, data collectors, outcome assessors, and data analysts},* controlled trial with 24 months of follow up.


2 boroughs in inner London, UK.


147 444 households in 40 electoral wards with Jarman scores ≥1 standard deviation above the national mean. (The Jarman score is a measure of material deprivation and increased healthcare needs.)


Wards were pair matched by Jarman score. 20 wards (73 399 households) were allocated to the intervention, which comprised distribution (door to door and through key local sites) of smoke alarms, with batteries, fittings, and fire safety brochures (in English and other local languages) targeted …

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  • * Information provided by author.

  • Sources of funding: Medical Research Council; Home Office (Fire Research and Development Group and National Community Fire Safety Centre); Department of Health; Camden and Islington Councils; British Medical Association; Camden and Islington Health Authority.

  • For correspondence: Dr C DiGuiseppi, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver, CO, USA. Carolyn.DiGuiseppi{at} (reprints not available)