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This study is the first known to use network meta-analysis to simultaneously evaluate the effectiveness of interventions to increase the prevalence of functioning smoke alarms in households with children. The authors identified 24 primary studies from a systematic review of reviews and of more recently published primary studies, of which 23 (17 randomized controlled trials and 6 nonrandomized comparative studies) were included in 1 of the following 2 network meta-analyses: 1) possession of a functioning alarm: interventions that were more "intensive" (i.e., included components providing equipment (with or without fitting), home inspection, or both, in addition to education) generally were more effective. The intervention containing all of the aforementioned components was identified as being the most likely to be the most effective (probability (best) = 0.66), with an odds ratio versus usual care of 7.15 (95% credible interval: 2.40, 22.73); 2) type of battery-powered alarms: ionization alarms with lithium batteries were most likely to be the best type for increasing functioning possession (probability (best) = 0.69). Smoke alarm promotion programs should ensure they provide the combination of interventions most likely to be effective. © The Author 2011. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. All rights reserved.

Original publication




Journal article


Epidemiologic Reviews

Publication Date





32 - 45