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Fire Safety at Home

DC
BY Douglas Cameron
Health & Safety

With many people working from home during this continuing Pandemic, perhaps a little more time should be given to considering that people are more than twice as likely to die in a fire at home where there is no fire smoke alarm.

The general advice is to have at least one per floor in your home located in an area you will be able to hear while sleeping.

With other rooms in your home perhaps having more computer type equipment placing another in these areas is a good additional idea.

Types of smoke alarm

Ionisation Alarms are cheap to buy. These are very sensitive to flaming fires before smoke build up makes escape difficult.

Optical Alarms are more expensive but more effective at detecting slow-burning fires

Emergency Light Alarms (Ionisation or Optical) suitable if someone in your house has hearing difficulties

Some models are available with a 'hush' button which will silence the alarm for a short time, useful during cooking

Ensure which ever you buy is stamped with British Standard BS EN 14604


Power Supply Types (battery)

An 'ionisation alarm' and 'optical alarm' run off 9-volt batteries.

Long-life lithium battery or sealed power pack types, that lasts for 10 years.

Mains-powered alarms

Electrical supply installed by qualified electricians, with battery back-up in case of a power cut.

Interconnecting or linked alarms (mains power)

Connected to each other so that when one senses smoke, all the alarms in the property sound. This can include strobe light and/or vibrating pillow pad for people with hearing impairments


Installing smoke alarms

Follow the manufacturers advice. Best placed on the ceiling in the middle of the room or hall

Testing and Maintenance

Pressing the test button every month to confirm the alarm is working

 

Change the batteries annually unless 10-year version

Replace the whole unit every ten years

Clean smoke alarms every three months using the soft brush of your vacuum cleaner

 

LAW’s Health & Safety At Work team are here to support employers, 24/7.

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