This week is the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) Home Safety Week which we are supporting to help highlight the importance of installing alarms in homes, in 2018/2019 according to national statistics there were 33,428 accidental dwelling fires in the UK, in which 254 fatalities occurred. Even with the best precautions in place, unfortunately no property is immune from the risks of fire and the devastation it can cause. A fire can occur at any time, without warning! However, alarms save ives and in the case of a fire or carbon monoxide (CO) incident they can provide precious time for you and your family to escape.
In 21% of accidental dwelling fires in the UK smoke alarms fail to operate, with the most common reason for this being that in the event of a fire alarms don't activate as the smoke fails to reach the detector. Highlighting that many homes don't have enough detectors or detectors are not in the right places to be effective in the event of a fire.
Regularly testing and changing the batteries will also reduce the risk of battery failure, as around 10% of alarms failing to operate were due to missing or defective batteries. It is advised that alarms don't last forever and that sensors can degrade, therefore replacing alarms at least every 10 years is essential.
To continue to decrease the number of fire alarm failures the placement and number of detectors per dwelling needs to be addressed. There is a long-standing mindset that the alarms should be placed in landings and hallways, which statistically are the least likely places for a fire to start. Often a fire needs to significantly develop to reach alarms cited in those areas. Fires are most likely to start in rooms that are most used, therefore suitable fire alarms should be encouraged to be installed in these rooms as well. To keep your home safe #InstallMore and give yourself time to get out!
It is also estimated by the NFCC that only 15% of households across the UK have CO alarms installed. Carbon monoxide (CO) is a gas that you cannot see, taste or smell and is highly poisonous. Their recommendation is that any room with a fuel burning appliance such as an open fire, wood burner or gas appliance should also have a working CO alarm installed. As well as all homes should have heat alarms installed in their kitchens.
Here are this week's tips for keeping you and your home safe:
- Install at least one smoke alarm on each level of your home and also in the rooms you use the most.
- Carbon monoxide alarms should be installed in all rooms where there are fuel burning appliances.
- Make sure all your smoke alarms work by testing them regularly.
- Ensure all appliances are installed and maintained correctly by registered and suitably qualified tradespeople.
- Alarms don't last forever, replace alarms at least every 10 years. Even if your alarm appears to be working when tested, the sensors can degrade over time and lose their effectiveness at detecting smoke. This can lead to alarms not working when you need them the most!
- If you can, you should interlink your alarms.
This week is an ideal time to assess the risks and needs of your home and ensure that you have adequate alarms to cover your whole home and keep you safe. It is essential to ensure that the right alarms are installed in the right places around your home helping to prevent incidents.
As an electrical wholesaler Discountelectrical.com stocks a range of fire and safety alarms from some of the major manufactures like Hispec and Aico to ensure that homes are kept safe across the UK. Home detection technology has advanced, products are available with sealed batteries, mains connected or interlinked systems which may give you the time you need to escape as part of your home safety plan. Qualified professionals will be able to advise you on the best products for your home. Need a replacement fire alarm in a hurry? With free express delivery on all orders over £50 we do our best to get orders to you as fast as possible as a standard service. You can find our range of Fire and Security alarms here>>
For more information on the Home Safety Week campaign from the National Fire Chiefs Council please visit>>