In June, the
National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recognized the affordable
home smoke alarm as the technical achievement to win the inaugural
Philip J. DiNenno Prize. The award and $50,000 in prize money was
presented at the NFPA Conference & Expo to Lyman Blackwell, who
co-developed the smoke alarm with the late Duane Pearsall.
prestigious DiNenno Prize recognizes important innovations that have
had a significant impact on public safety, including building, fire, and
electrical safety. The prize is named for the late Philip J. DiNenno
for his extraordinary contributions to fire safety.
affordable home smoke alarm was developed in the 1960s by Pearsall and
Blackwell, who recognized a need for an inexpensive and easy-to-install
smoke detector that could bring fire safety to every household. Assisted
by many team members, they realized their goal when the new,
battery-powered home smoke alarm entered the marketplace in 1972. The
percentage of U.S. homes with smoke alarms increased from 22 percent in
1977 to 96 percent in 2010.
affordable home smoke alarm is one of the most important fire safety
inventions of our time, helping save tens of thousands of lives in home
fires,” said Jim Pauley, NFPA president. "With the inaugural DiNenno
Prize, we honor this essential innovation and all those who helped
realize the vision for the affordable home smoke alarm, and we honor
Phil DiNenno who was one of the greatest leaders in fire and life
In honor of the late Philip J. DiNenno, the highly regarded former CEO of Hughes Associates who passed away in 2013, NFPA established the DiNenno Prize in 2014. A prize committee considers nominations submitted from around the world.
For more information, go to www.nfpa.org/dinenno