Did you know that if you have a working smoke alarm, you are half as likely to die in a house fire?
Unfortunately many of those who have a smoke alarm don’t test it very often if at all.
The recommendation is to test your smoke alarm on a weekly basis and try and build the testing into your routine so that you don’t forget. We have called our blog today ‘test it Tuesday’ as Tuesdays are fast becoming a good day to test your smoke alarm thanks to growing publicity surrounding the catchy name. It is very simple to test a smoke alarm, simply press the ‘test’ button for a few seconds and the smoke alarm will emit a high pitched beep. This means all is OK and the smoke alarm should alert you in the event of a fire in your home. If you do not hear a beep then, this normally means the batteries need replacing or in the case of a mains powered smoke alarm, it will need a qualified electrician to come and take a look at it. It is better to discover a problem during testing than to risk the alarm not alerting you in the event of a house fire.
If the smoke alarm is located too far out of reach, rather than stand on a chair, use a broom handle to test it, this is much safer. Never be tempted to take the batteries out of a smoke alarm to stop it from beeping during cooking or if steam from your shower gets in the way or for any other reason. Many people who do this forget to replace the batteries afterwards and this leaves them with no way of being alerted in the event of a fire. If your smoke alarm is beeping when carrying out routine household tasks such as cooking the dinner, this normally means your smoke alarm is not situated in the best place in your home. At Fulcher Edwards we offer a design, installation and testing service for smoke detectors. This means that not only do we ensure your smoke alarms are situated in the best locations within your home, they will also comply with current British standards. We offer these services to both householders and businesses large and small in and around Hertfordshire.
There are two types of smoke alarm, either battery or mains powered. Mains powered smoke detector systems are far more complex and need to be installed by a qualified electrician, battery powered smoke alarms are a cheaper option, however the importance to test weekly is paramount as the battery is the only source of power the alarm will have to alert you of a fire. Most newer fire alarm models now have a 10 year life with an in built battery meaning it is not possible to remove the battery this is why it is important to choose the right location in your home for your fire alarms. Your local fire service may be able to assist with locating your battery powered smoke alarms.
It is important to keep fire alarms free of dust in order for them to work to their best. A simple hoover nozzle used to clean the vents is normally sufficient every few weeks.
It is also a good idea to talk to your family and discuss what the best route from your home would be in the event of a fire blocking the main entrances to your home (i.e. front and back door.) Ideally a way of leaving the house via an upstairs window is a good plan to have and is often known as the ‘Plan B Route.’ This would be an upstairs window which opens out full length to enable an easy exit perhaps onto a roof further below such as a porch or conservatory roof. Always remember to leave a window key in the same room. Many householders don’t consider of alternative ways to leave their home in a fire, however it is important to know what to do should the situation occur.
So remember Test-it Tuesday, and don’t forget to test your smoke alarms in your home and business today.