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Title: Cost-effectiveness of interventions for increasing the possession of functioning smoke alarms in households with pre-school children: a modelling study
Authors: Saramago, P.
Cooper, Nicola J.
Sutton, A. J.
Hayes, M.
Dunn, K.
Manca, A.
Kendrick, D.
Keeping Children Safe at Home study
First Published: 16-May-2014
Publisher: BioMed Central
Citation: BMC Public Health, 2014, 14 : 459
Abstract: Background: The UK has one of the highest rates for deaths from fire and flames in children aged 0–14 years compared to other high income countries. Evidence shows that smoke alarms can reduce the risk of fire-related injury but little exists on their cost-effectiveness. We aimed to compare the cost effectiveness of different interventions for the uptake of ‘functioning’ smoke alarms and consequently for the prevention of fire-related injuries in children in the UK. Methods: We carried out a decision model-based probabilistic cost-effectiveness analysis. We used a hypothetical population of newborns and evaluated the impact of living in a household with or without a functioning smoke alarm during the first 5 years of their life on overall lifetime costs and quality of life from a public health perspective. We compared seven interventions, ranging from usual care to more complex interventions comprising of education, free/low cost equipment giveaway, equipment fitting and/or home safety inspection. Results: Education and free/low cost equipment was the most cost-effective intervention with an estimated incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of £34,200 per QALY gained compared to usual care. This was reduced to approximately £4,500 per QALY gained when 1.8 children under the age of 5 were assumed per household. Conclusions: Assessing cost-effectiveness, as well as effectiveness, is important in a public sector system operating under a fixed budget restraint. As highlighted in this study, the more effective interventions (in this case the more complex interventions) may not necessarily be the ones considered the most cost-effective.
DOI Link: 10.1186/1471-2458-14-459
eISSN: 1471-2458
Version: Publisher Version
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © 2014 Saramago et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
Description: PMCID: PMC4046996
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Health Sciences

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