It’s a fact that alarms save lives. They provide precious time to escape in the event of a fire or carbon monoxide (CO) incident.
The National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) are highlighting the importance of installing alarms as part of Home Safety Week which runs from 14th – 20th June 2021. The week aims to spread awareness and encourage people to assess the needs of their homes, ensuring they have the appropriate and adequate alarms. The Fire and Rescue Services can assist with specific advice for vulnerable groups of individuals and also fit smoke detection if required, they may also be able to install CO detection too.
According to NFCC, in 18% of dwelling fire incidents in the UK, the smoke alarm fails to activate. The most common reasoning (accounting for 50% of cases) for this failure was because the fire was outside of the alarm’s range. It is so important that the whole home is adequately covered; smoke alarms should be installed in rooms used most and a heat alarm fitted in the kitchen as these are areas where a fire is most likely to occur.
- Fitting a smoke alarm on every floor of a home should be recognised as a minimum standard (in a circulation space, e.g., hall or landing)
- Additionally, it is recommended that smoke alarms are fitted in every room in the house which is regularly inhabited (i.e., bedrooms, living rooms, dining rooms) based upon the fire risk to the occupants
- NFCC recommend that the smoke alarm has a sealed battery compartment to prevent tampering or removal of the battery
- NFCC recommend an optical multi sensor smoke alarm with a 10-year life span
- Heat alarms should be fitted in the kitchen
- Where possible, alarms should be inter-linked so that all will actuate within the property irrespective of the fire location
- All smoke alarms should be replaced after 10 years, or by the ‘replace by’ date indicated on the base or earlier if found to be defective
Carbon Monoxide is a highly poisonous gas, which you cannot see, taste or smell. NFCC recommend that any room with a fuel burning appliance such as an open fire, wood burning stove or gas appliance e.g., boiler or cooker should also have a working CO alarm fitted.
All homes in the UK should be equally protected by adequate detection regardless of tenure or location in the UK.
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