Smoke alarms are available from most high street retail outlets. Your local fire brigade will be able to advise you further, but any model with either a British Standards Kitemark, or a Loss Prevention Certification Board (LPCB) symbol, will have been rigorously tested for its safety and reliability.
Smoke Alarm Maintenance
You need to test a smoke alarm at least once a month. All smoke alarms have a test button which you can press and hold for 10 seconds. The fire alarm will sound loudly so that you know that the alarm is functioning.
Batteries should be changed at least once a year. Make sure no dust or dirty is blocking the vents, it might be useful to use a vacuum to clean it. If the smoke alarm is beeping at interval, this maybe a sign that the batter is depleting and needs changing
Never remove the batteries from your smoke alarm because you are having false alarms due to cooking or smoking. It is extremely common for people to remove the batteries from their alarms just to silence them. Often these are forgotten to be replaced.
Some smoke alarms have a ‘Replace By’ by date that will give you the age of the smoke alarm and provides you with a date to replace by.
Did You Know according to the London Fire Brigade:
Over 50% of domestic fires are caused by cooking accidents
At least 3 fires a day are by candles
Every 7 days somebody dies from a fire caused by a cigarette
6,000 fires a year are by faulty electrics
You are 4 times more likely to perish in a fire without a smoke alarm
20 people a year die from non working smoke alarms
Don’t Just rely on your Smoke Alarm, Common Causes of Fire
Fires started by candles tend to start off insignificant that’s barely visible to the naked eye. They very quickly develop into a full blown fire. Candles should never be placed near curtains or soft furniture.
As at least 50% of all home fires emanate from the kitchen, never leave any cooking utensils unattended. If you have to leave the kitchen while cooking, turn the heat down or remove the pans completely. Loose clothing can easily catch a flame as can tea towels– so keep flammable fabrics away from naked flames. Clean off any accumulated fat as this and grease can ignite easily.
6,000 domestic fires a year are caused by faulty electrics. You should be made aware of the draw of each of your appliances so that it does no overload the circuit. Each circuit has a maximum loading capacity. Try to adhere to one plug in one socket. If you use extension leads don’t overload them.
Know Your Exit Plan after your Smoke Alarm Activates
The ideal way to exit your home is as you would do normally, use the front or back doors to get out quickly. Don’t collect anything of value, get out as quickly as possible. Should you experience smoke stay low as the air you need to breath is trapped close to the floor.
You may need some Fire Claim Help.
If you experience fire or smoke damage and need to make a fire insurance claim, always seek the help of a Loss Assessor or Claims handling specialist. Fire insurance claims are complicated and stressful. Dot go it alone use a Loss Assessor to help.