Recent national research has shown that only 28% of households who own a smoke alarm, actually test it on a regular basis. If you don’t have a working smoke alarm, you are 7 times more likely to die in a house fire. While this is a scary statistic, it can be easily avoided. Making sure that you have fitted your smoke alarms appropriately, and that you test the battery regularly, can be the difference between making it to safety or getting caught.
Last year, there were 229 fire-related deaths in the home across the country. With a fifth of these deaths often happening through December and January, it’s even more important to make sure you have a safe Christmas! You might never encounter a fire in your home, but isn’t it better to be safe than sorry? To keep your family safe, BuyaBattery offer you a guide to fitting and testing your smoke alarm, and its batteries.
Fitting your smoke alarm
First of all, you need to make sure your smoke alarms are fitted in the right place for them to do their job. Its recommended that you install a smoke alarm for each floor of your home; if you only choose to have one, make sure it is somewhere you will hear it when you are asleep.
Smoke alarms should be fitted as close to the centre of the room as possible; at the very least, they should be 30cm away from walls or light fittings. This reduces the risk of false alarms or dust forming over the sensors.
There are several different types of smoke alarm, including ionization, optical, heat alarms and a combined model. They are all powered by a battery, mains electricity or both; the battery can be used as a source of back-up power.
Testing the smoke alarm battery
Recent national research has shown that only 28% of households who own a smoke alarm, actually test it on a regular basis. With the recent Fire Kills campaign, and a push over social media by local fire services, residents have been reminded how simple and easy it is to test the alarm.
Most smoke alarms will require a 9-volt battery. You should test it frequently to ensure the alarm will go off when there is a danger of fire. Ideally, you should test the battery once a week, or at the very least every month, by simply pressing the button until the alarm sounds. While you are there, it may also be helpful to brush away any dirt or dust that has gathered around the alarm.
Bear in mind that the batteries may run out quicker if you often experience false alarms from the bathroom or kitchen!
Changing your smoke alarm batteries
You should aim to change your battery once a year, unless you invest in a 10-year battery. They are very useful; however, you will still need to check the battery regularly.
It is also advised that you should replace your own alarm unit after 10 years, to avoid any wear and tear to the system. Having a modern replacement alarm unit and battery can reduce risk.
So, make sure you keep your home safe this year by setting yourself reminders to check your smoke alarm batteries!
Disclosure: This is a collaboration post.