Even though we often forget about our smoke alarm, that little white box could save your life, so its definitely worth giving it a little bit of TLC. Here are some top tips that could definitely help save your life. In fact, your 7x more likely to survive a fire if your smoke alarm is regularly checked.
Check your smoke alarm Monthly.
Every smoke alarm in the house should be tested on a monthly basis by pressing the “test” button, usually on the front of the alarm. Never test an alarm using an open flame or smoke. Try and get into a routine, say the first weekend of every month. If you physically struggle to test your alarm, you can get special alarms that can be tested by shining a torch at a sensor.
Service your smoke alarms when the clocks change.
We all notice when our clocks are an hour out and we change them immediately. This is the perfect time to service your smoke alarm as well. Give it the once over with a duster, making sure there is no dust clumps that could affect the detection of smoke. Even if you have already checked it that month, give it another test by pressing the “test” button. Its better to be safe than sorry.
Have at least one on each floor.
Placing smoke alarms on every floor reduces the time to set one off. A smoke alarm situated downstairs will detect a fire on that floor quicker than an alarm upstairs. They should ideally be placed near to sleeping areas so that when it goes off you’ll hear it. It is best to get interconnected smoke alarms that will all alarm if one is triggered.
Rooms with a lot of electrical devices.
Rooms with large electrical devices in such as computers, televisions etc should have a smoke alarm near by. Do not place a smoke alarm in the kitchen as it will always read false alarms.
Use high power batteries.
If your alarm is powered by batteries use either Alkaline or Lithium 9v Batteries. These are more powerful than Zinc cells that will drain a lot quicker than their counterparts. When its your life on the line, don’t grumble over a few pence. It is recommended that you should change the battery in your smoke alarm once a year.
If you are replacing your batteries in your smoke alarm we use the GP Batteries Ultra Alkaline PP3 (£1.54). Or if you struggle to remember when to check them, and don’t do it every month, The GP Batteries Lithium PP3 will last for up to 10 years. Although this is definitely not an alternative to checking your smoke alarms regularly.
Always look for these logos on your smoke alarm.
Always look for the British Standards Kite mark and the LPCB logo to ensure that your smoke alarm is the highest quality.
Cover all your bases.
You can get 2 types of Smoke alarm, Ionization and Photoelectric. Ionization smoke alarms are quicker to warn about flaming fires. Where as Photoelectric alarms are quicker to warn about smoldering fires. It is best to use of both types of alarms in the home to ensure that any type of fire is detected as quick as possible.
Remember to test elderly family members smoke alarms.
They probably checked smoke alarms when you were young and couldn’t so make sure you pay them back by checking theirs if they can’t.
In the time it has taken you to read this blog, you could have checked your smoke alarms tenfold so theres no excuses… Go check them!
For more information on fire safety around the house check out the government’s fire safety handbook