.deb files are ment to be installed with dpkg, the Debian package system. While I am sure you could get dpkg running on distro's other then Debian, you are far better using your distro's preferred method of package management, or downloading a zipped tar of the source and compiling the program manually.
What distribution do you use? Redhat and Mandrake use rpm's, so does Suse if I am not mistaken. Slackware uses it's own installpkg system which uses binaries put into gzipped tarballs. Gentoo uses a system called portage that downloads source and compiles it because on ebuild files. I am sure there are other methods as well.