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J Burn Care Rehabil. 1986 Nov-Dec;7(6):535-6.

An effective burn prevention program initiated by a recovered burn patient group.

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  • 1Department of Social Work, Barnes Hospital, St. Louis, MO 63110.


The US death rate from house fires has remained constant during the past 50 years despite a sharp decline in mortality from other fires and causes of burns. The concensus is that smoke alarms can effectively decrease the incidence of this lethal type of burn injury. Our organization of recovered burn patients has focused its efforts around procuring and installing smoke alarms in areas of substandard housing, which predominantly account for house fire deaths and injuries in St. Louis. This effort has resulted in an effective burn prevention program ("Alarms for Life"), which also serves as a model for other communities.

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