Why Installing a Smoke Alarm could be the Most Important thing you ever do

Every year there are thousands of house fires in the United Kingdom. The emergency services are actually called out to around 140 house fires every single day. It is almost impossible to completely fireproof a house, so it is highly important that homeowners do everything in their power to minimise the damage if there is an incident. The small price that you pay for your smoke alarm will be well-worth it. Installing a smoke alarm in your house may be one of the most important things that you ever do.

About 500 people per year die in house fires in the United Kingdom and over 10,000 people are injured. Some of these injuries are life-changing. Many of these deaths and injuries could have been avoided if these homes had had working smoke detectors.

A smoke alarm is set up to detect relatively small amounts of smoke in the air. Ionisation alarms are better at detecting the smoke that is produced by fast-spreading fires, whereas optical alarms are better at detecting larger smoke particles such as those that are produced by slowly smouldering items. Ionisation alarms are great in more open areas of the home (such as the hallway or landing) but they are not normally suitable for kitchens or garage areas because they will be triggered by burning food and exhaust fumes. Optical alarms are better for areas like the living room or the bedroom where there are soft furnishings which may start to smoulder slowly before catching fire. Heat alarms are the best choice for kitchens and garages, because they are triggered by the heat of the flames, rather than being regularly triggered by accident.

Whatever type of alarm that you choose, you need to make sure that you test it every single week. Having a smoke alarm which has run out of battery is potentially more harmful than not having an alarm at all. This is because homeowners assume that there isn’t a problem in their home, because the alarm has not gone off. By the time that they realise that there is problem, it could all be too late. When you buy your new smoke alarm, you must carefully read the instructions so that you know how to test the alarm properly. You should also take notice of any instructions about the lifespan of the alarm. Some alarm types have limited lifespan, and should not be used after this date because of their reduced sensitivity.

The purpose of a smoke alarm is to give people within the building an early warning to alert them to potential danger. Knowing about an issue as soon as possible can help the occupants of the building to take appropriate actions straight away. You should prepare to leave the building as soon as you hear the fire alarm. Leaving as soon as you hear the alarm can help to ensure that your journey out of the building is as easy as possible.

Many people will be surprised to learn that most fire-related deaths and injuries actually occur because of smoke inhalation rather than because of the flames. Smoke alarms are integral in reducing the risks associated with smoke inhalation. The longer that a fire burns for, the more smoke that it will produce. A properly fitted smoke alarm should help to alert the occupants of the house to the presence of the smoke before the smoke coverage becomes too dense. This will give them the opportunity to escape from the building whilst minimising the risks of smoke inhalation. On the other hand, if you are not made aware of the smoke that is filling your home, you may have real difficulties in escaping the building. Many of those who die in house fires actually suffocate on smoke whilst they are asleep. Without a fire alarm to awaken them, they have no chance to escape. Give your family a chance by making sure that you install a smoke alarm in your home.

As well as helping you to leave the property in a timely manner, a smoke alarm can give you more time to contact the emergency services. It can be easier for the fire brigade to extinguish a blaze if they arrive at the scene of the fire more quickly. Being able to alert the fire brigade to the blaze in a timely manner should give them more of an opportunity to control the fire. In some cases, this can mean the difference between losing one room of your home to a fire, compared to losing the whole house. In some circumstances, a smoke alarm will even alert you to a fire that it is possible to extinguish with the assistance of the fire brigade. Smoke alarms can help to avert incidents entirely.