WAKE UP !
GET A SMOKE ALARM!

EVERY YEAR THE FIRE BRIGADE IS CALLED OUT TO ABOUT 60,000 FIRES IN THE HOME AND EVERY YEAR MORE THAN 700 PEOPLE DIE IN THESE FIRES, AND OVER 14,000 ARE INJURED.
MANY OF THESE DEATHS AND INJURIES COULD BE PREVENTED IF PEOPLE HAD EARLY WARNING AND WERE ABLE TO GET OUT IN TIME. BUYING AND FITTING A SMOKE ALARM COULD HELP TO SAVE YOUR OWN AND YOUR FAMILY'S LIFE.

WHAT IS A SMOKE ALARM

ALARM1
Smoke alarms, or detectors, are small devices about the size of a hand which are fitted to the ceiling. They can detect fires in their earliest stages and sound a loud warning alarm. This alarm can give you those precious few minutes of warning time which will help get you and your family out safely.

CHOOSING A SMOKE ALARM

Kitemark
There are many types of alarm on the market and they cost from under 5.00. You can buy them at most DIY, hardware and electrical shops, and at some supermarkets. Always look for an alarm which conforms to the British Standard. This means that the alarm has achieved a standard acceptable to the British Standards Institution (BSI). Smoke alarms should meet BS5446 Part 1, and will carry the well-known Kitemark illustrated left.

SHOULD YOU FIT MORE THAN ONE SMOKE ALARM

detector sighting
If you live in a flat or a bungalow, one smoke alram should be enough to provide you with early warning of fire.

If your home has more than one floor, an alarm should be fitted on each floor. For extra protection you can fit alarms in any room where you think a fire may start, e.g. the lounge or bedroom.

DO NOT FIT AN ALARM IN THE KITCHEN OR BATHROOM, as the cooking fumes or steam may trigger the alarm. Cigarette smoke will not normally set off an alarm. In some cases you may be able to link more than one alarm together so that if one senses smoke they will all sound an alarm. You should check with an electrician before trying to link the alarms yourself.

WHERE TO FIT YOUR SMOKE ALARM

If your home is on one level, you should fit the alarm in the hallway between the living and sleeping areas. If your home has more than one floor, one alarm should be fitted at the bottom of the staircase with an alarm on each upstairs landing.
If only one alarm is to be installed care should be taken to ensure that is is fitted in a place where it can be heard throughout your home - particularly when you are asleep.
Smoke alarms are simply screwed into the ceiling and should be fitted at points recommended by the manufacturer. This will normally be at least 30 centimetres (12 inches) away from any wall or light fitting and as close to the centre of the room, hallway or landing ceiling as possible.

LOOKING AFTER YOUR SMOKE ALARM

Smoke alarms need very little maintenance. A few minutes of your time each year will ensure that your alarm is working and could help save the lives of you and your family.
ONCE A MONTH - You should check the battery by pressing the test button.
ONCE A YEAR - Change the battery in the alarm. Make a note of the date of the change. Vacuum the inside of the alarm to ensure that dust isn't blocking the sensor chamber.

REMEMBER

Don't fit a smoke alarm in the kitchen or bathroom, or in any other areas where cooking fumes or steam may trigger it.

Don't fit a smoke alarm in a garage where exhaust fumes may set it off.


This document was created by DAVE WALL, ex - RED WATCH, ASCOT DRIVE FIRE STATION