We all know by now how important it is to have smoke and fire alarms fitted in our homes, but how many of us are making sure that they are maintained and working?
Has your Smoke and Fire Alarm been tested this week?
In 1998 only 8% of British homes had smoke alarms installed, according to the government website, this is now over 90%, showing just how much awareness of home fire safety has increased. Having a working smoke alarm fitted in your home substantially increases the chance of being able to get out safely should a house fire occur. Those precious few minutes that an early warning from your alarm would give you could mean the difference between getting out unscathed and a fatality. Having the warning also gives emergency services more time and could result in much less damage to your property and belongings. Between April 2013 and March 2014, 97 people died and 1900 were injured in domestic fires affecting properties where no smoke alarm was present.
So, how many alarms should we have in our homes, and how do we maintain them? As a rule, the more alarms fitted, the greater the level of protection. If you’re unsure, try the free online fire risk assessment from Buckinghamshire & Milton Keynes Fire and Rescue Service. Ideally, there should be an alarm in every room in your home with the exception of the bathrooms, as steam may trigger the alarm. Alarms should be fitted as close to the centre of the room as possible, either by being screwed to the ceiling or with specialist sticky pads and should be at least 30 centimetres (12 inches) away from any walls or light fittings.
Smoke alarms actually need very little maintenance and the best advice is to follow the manufacturers guidelines. As a general rule though, the battery in your smoke alarms should be changed every 12 months and tested on a monthly basis. A quick hoover to remove any dust could be done at the same time, meaning your smoke alarm will be in the best working order.
It is easy to forget, but by simply popping a reminder in your phone, you can ensure your smoke alarms are always working.
As always, FTS Safety Solutions are always here to help and would be happy to take your call on 01908 465264 or answer any queries by email enq[email protected]
Until next time