The Government launched the ‘Fire Kills’ fire safety campaign. If you are not familiar with the campaign, it has been running for a number of years with the sole aim to highlight that fires in the home can kill. It aims to raise awareness as to what preventative measures a home should have in place.
The campaign also addresses some key information on statistics, and what to do if you do not have the right preventative measures in place. We have summarised the report and put in extra information which we think should also be considered.
Some of the key findings to come out of the campaign are:-– Cooking fires are the main cause of most fires within the home– Every 6 days someone will die in the UK from a fire within the home caused by smoking materials– Faulty electrics cause just over 4000 fires within the home each year
Do you have smoke alarms and do you need them?
Smoke alarms are one of the most basic fire safety measures to have in your home, it is reported that 90% of homes have at least one smoke alarm in their property. This is increasing year on year due to increased awareness. However, even with this increase, 23% of people say they never test them. Out of that 23%, each person would be eight times more likely to die from a fire within their home if their smoke alarm was not working.
From October 2015 it was made compulsory for all landlords to install smoke alarms into each of their properties, and that they also have responsibility for the maintenance of these devices. Not only do they have to be installed, but if the property is across multiple floors then a landlord is legally required to make sure there is adequate coverage.
Types of Smoke Alarms
There are two main types of smoke alarms which you can install in your home. Depending on the specific rooms you are going to install them in, will depend on which is best for you. A brief breakdown of the options are as follows.
Ionisation Smoke Alarms
With the clue in the name, these alarms work by ionising the air between two electrodes. When smoke is in the air it breaks this bond and an alarm will sound. Out of the two options these are the most sensitive to smaller smoke particles in the air. Usual advise is for these not be placed near kitchens due to them picking up leftover smoke particles from cooking which could lead to false alarms.
Optical Smoke Alarms
The optical smoke alarm is a smoke detection system which is based around the use of light sensors. Every few seconds a pulse of light is sent into a chamber contained in the smoke alarm. This then detects any smoke particles in the air, and if sufficient enough will trigger an alarm. These types are most commonly used in bedrooms, landings and near to kitchens.
For more information check out Which.co.uk. They have great articles on which is the best to purchase, as well as the most cost effective locations to buy them from.
To finish off this blog, it is key for us to say we are massive supporters of this fire safety campaign. Whist we at JSM work in both commercial and domestic premises, there is more emphasis on the maintenance of fire detection systems in the commercial sector and the campaign to raise awareness in the domestic setting is vital in readdressing this. The branding, and adverts on TV will most definitely raise awareness in 2020 with the aim to lower the tragic death toll.