This week, I am focusing on something a little different from the usual technology. But all the same, it is a technology that saves lives – smoke alarms. A smoke alarm is the easiest way to alert you to the danger of fire, giving you precious time to escape. It’s cheap, easy to get hold of and easy to fit. There’s no excuse for not having one.
When was the last time you changed the batteries in your smoke alarms? If you live in a communal building then when was the last time that the smoke alarms were tested in your building? If you have thought about this question and unable to answer it in 3 seconds, chances are you need to change the batteries or get checks done.
With the run-up to Christmas fast approaching and electrical appliances and lights in full swing. Everybody and anybody would be wise to pay attention, it may save your life.
A little advice on where to have smoke alarms fitted and maintaining them:-
How many should I have? The more smoke alarms you have the safer you will be. A good number is one for each floor, best placed on landing ceilings and in hallways. If you live in a deep flat or house, have one in place at either end. Make sure you fit the smoke alarm in a place where you will hear it if you are asleep. If you have a heavy duty electrical appliance in the bedroom, such as TV, DVD, decoder, it would be best to fit one in there to.
Where should I be fitting them in a room? The place which is best is on the ceiling, near enough or dead centre to the room or corridor. Ideally the smoke alarm should be at least 30 centimetres (a normal rulers length) from the wall or light
How can I maintain my smoke alarm to make sure it works best? Firstly, change the battery once a year. Put a reminder on your PC or mobile and get it to be a recurring reminder from that day forth. Two, every 6 months, open the case and give the insides a gently hoover or dust to remove dust from the sensors. If it is one of ‘those’ alarms that doesn’t open, just vacuum through the vent. After 10 years, replace the alarm altogether.
Keep in mind: You are more than twice as likely to die in a fire if you do not have a working smoke alarm.
Thanks to the London Fire Brigade for this sound advice.