Remember, Remember to Fit a Smoke Alarm

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

With Bonfire Night fast approaching, it’s the ideal time to educate children on the dangers of fire - but also to remind ourselves about the importance of fire safety in the home.

Smoke alarms are cheap to buy and easy to fit, but despite continued warnings, many households in the UK aren’t fitted with one. To help you protect your household, here are our top smoke alarm tips:

Get them

There are three main types of smoke alarm:

Ionisation smoke alarms are the cheapest and will detect fine particles of smoke from blazes like a chip pan fire.
Optical smoke alarms detect larger particles of smoke like those from smouldering sofas or soft furnishings.
Combined smoke alarms detect both fine and larger smoke particles, and are the most effective.

Prices start from as little as a few pounds for a smoke alarm, though some local fire brigades may offer free home safety visits that include smoke alarm fitting.

Fit them

It's recommended that you fit a smoke alarm in every room in the house except the kitchen, bathroom and garage - though this will depend on the size and layout of your home. It's also best to use a combination of alarm types throughout the house.

Alarms should be fitted on the ceiling near the centre of a room, and should be audible from anywhere in the house – particularly the bedroom.

Test them

Once your smoke alarms are installed, you should test them weekly, change the battery once a year and gently vacuum the alarm every few months to remove dust.

Of course, smoke alarms can't prevent fires, but they can certainly save lives. In the event of a fire, our buildings and contents home insurance can also help you to rebuild your home and replace your possessions.

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