The importance of Smoke Alarms

With the run-up to Christmas fast approaching, we are urging people to check or even install a smoke alarm in their properties.

Suggested figures show that an average of one in ten households do not already have a working smoke alarm. While 22% of households that do have a smoke alarm, never even test them.

The importance of maintaining and testing them is crucial to them detecting a fire within your home. There are a few simple ways in which to do this:

  1. Vacuum gently using a soft brush attachment
  2. Change the batteries at least once a year (if a battery-powered unit)
  3. Get a new alarm every 10 years (this is recommended by the British Standards Authority)

For more advice on British Standards for domestic property smoke alarms, please click the link: https://www.firesafe.org.uk/smoke-alarms-to-bs5839-part-6-2004/

Due to the maintenance not being carried out correctly, 7,500 fires were present last year in homes, with battery-powered smoke alarms, which could have been prevented. 20% of failures to alert residents occurred due to the alarms missing batteries and or having faulty batteries. 45% was due to incorrect positioning.

The advised positioning of alarms is to have one on the ceiling of every floor. Our sister-company Willert Electrical, can happily advice the location/ positioning of the detectors, to maximise the chance of being alerted.

Last year’s figures also show that mains-powered smoke alarms are less likely to fail, with only 21% reported failures alongside battery-powered ones, with 38% which failed to alert residents. This is due to batteries not being required in mains-powered alarms and therefore, there is less stress on the resident testing it regularly and correctly. Willert Electrical are able to install these for you and even link them to an existing intruder or fire alarm. If linked to an alarm then there will be no need to replace the batteries, as there are none. Smoke detectors that are linked to an alarm, would recognise if there was no power and can notify you via an app or dialler.

With Christmas being a time for joy and celebrating with friends and family and all the added pressure of that perfect roast dinner and keeping everybody warm over the festive period, some other important issues get left behind.

Smoke alarms can be a life-saver, especially with the increase of potential fire risks, from Christmas trees, decorations, candles, lighting, open fireplaces, heaters and cooking. If you do not already have one, then it is recommended that you buy or install one.

If you do have one, please check it regularly and make sure it is working for you. Check the alarms for those less able to do so and remember to stay safe.

From all of us at BSA Security and Fire and our sister-company Willert Electrical, we wish you a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

(If you, or someone you know would like a free survey to have a smoke alarm fitted or to add smoke detection to an existing system, please don’t hesitate to ask).