The fire service attends about 50,000 home fires around the country in a year which can result in averages of around 800 deaths and over 10,000 injuries. They maintain that many of these casualties could have been avoided completely if there was some sort of early warning system in place such as a smoke alarm.
How many smoke alarms do I need?
As a minimum, fit one smoke alarm on every floor of your home, ideally on the ceiling of a hallway or landing.
In rooms, particularly bedrooms, where you have electrical equipment (a television, games console or where you charge items), remember that if the detector is outside the room on the landing and the door to the room is closed, it will take more time for the smoke from a fire inside the room to get out and reach the alarm, so consider fitting smoke alarms in these rooms.
It is also a good idea to fit a heat alarm in the kitchen as this is where many fires start. In the event of a fire, the heat alarm will sense the heat from the fire and will then sound to warn the household.
Interconnected smoke alarms increase safety
Interconnected smoke, heat and CO2 alarms are safer than standalone alarms because they let you know about an emergency sooner. Even if you’re in the house, you may not be close to the area where the fire started. If you’re in the basement, you may not hear an alarm in the bedroom. According to fire safety experts, many home fire fatalities occur even when people are in a different room than where the fire started.
We always recommend the interconnected installation. With this installation, all the alarms have a cable run between them that connect all the alarms together, so if one alarm sounds it will send a signal to all the other alarms so they all sound together. Therefore whatever part of the property someone may be, there will be an alarm near sounding and warning them.
Smoke alarms – landlords and tenants
New safety laws for landlords came into force on 1st October 2015. The new safety laws make it compulsory for all landlords to fit smoke alarms in rented homes, as well as offering protection against carbon monoxide poisoning.
The new safety laws make it compulsory for all landlords to:
- fit at least one smoke alarm on each floor of their premises
- fit a carbon monoxide alarm in rooms containing a solid fuel appliance
- check that all alarms are working when a new tenancy starts – with potential penalties of up to £5,000 if they don’t comply.
Landlords must check the alarms are working at the start of every new tenancy with potential penalties of up to £5,000 if they don’t comply.
Tenants are required to check the alarms are in working order and notify the landlord if they identify any problems.
Carbon monoxide is a smell-less tasteless gas that when inhaled can make you unwell or even kill. 50 people die every year from carbon monoxide poisoning in the UK. We recommend you have some form of carbon monoxide detection fitted in your property, to help catch any issues early. Of course, it’s not a substitute for having your fuel-burning appliances checked regularly by a qualified person, but it is an extremely important backup warning device to protect your household.
Whether it is for smoke or CO2 an early warning system is essential and saves lives. If you’re a homeowner, or a landlord looking to comply with the latest regulations, we can help you get the protection you need to give you total peace of mind. Don’t become a victim, install or upgrade your alarm systems today.