Every year, domestic fires kill around 500 people and injure a further 11,000. Here at Third Eye, we know that you can protect your family by simply installing smoke alarms. This small step would your loved ones a much greater chance of escaping unhurt, should a fire break out in your home. Find out which smoke alarms you should buy in 2020 by reading this blog!
Which smoke alarm should I get?
For homeowners, you have the choice between battery-powered smoke alarms or mains powered. Since 2015, landlords must provide mains powered or long-life battery-powered smoke alarms on every floor in their rental properties. Mains powered alarms can be interconnecting, which means that when one is triggered then all of them are activated. This helps alert everyone to a fire in another part of your property
There are 4 main types of smoke detectors available and each lends itself to different areas of your home.
Ionization smoke alarms
These work by ionizing the air, creating a small current within the unit. When smoke particles change the balance of the current, the alarm goes off.
Good for: dusty areas, such as lofts and sheds, or areas near where people smoke.
Not so good for: kitchens, or nearby areas, as it can trigger the alarm through the cooking heat/smoke.
Optical smoke alarms
These work by detecting smoke particles using an infrared LED.
Good for: bedrooms, living rooms, landings and near to kitchen areas, as they are less likely to be triggered by cooking.
Not so good for dusty areas or landings near bathrooms as they may be triggered by steam.
These work by detecting a rise in temperature, rather than detecting smoke particles
Good for: Kitchens
Not so good for: larger rooms as they only cover a small area.
If you have a smoke alarm that keeps going off, check which type of alarm it is as you may wish to consider buying a different type that is less likely to cause false alarms.
Smart smoke alarms
Most smart smoke alarms on the market are optical alarms but have the added feature of being able to alert you to a fire within your home. The alarm will send an audible alarm to your smartphone and/or a text/email.
Smart alarms are also able to collect data about the incident of fire and smoke which can be used to improve the performance of alarms in the future. Some alarms have a steam check feature to reduce the level of false alarms from cooking/bathroom steam.
How much does a smoke alarm cost?
You can buy a basic optical smoke alarm for under £6 or you can go for a combined smoke and carbon monoxide smart smoke alarm for around £115 and a whole host of options in between. Ask us for details of our recommended buys.
How many smoke alarms do I need?
Most fire services suggest having at least one alarm on every level of your property including the basement. Each living and sleeping area should also have its own alarm and the kitchen should have a heat alarm.
Where can I buy my smoke alarms?
You can obtain smoke alarms directly from Third Eye. We can install and connect your smoke alarms directly to your intruder alarm. This enables you to receive alerts direct to your smartphone if the smoke alarm is triggered.
How do I maintain my smoke alarm?
Battery-powered alarms may have a long-life battery which should last 10 years, after which time it should be replaced. Otherwise, you will need to test your alarm every 6-12 months and replace the battery annually. There’s little point in having a smoke alarm fitted and it not being in working condition when you need it. Studies show that the risk of death from fire is more than twice as high in houses where there is no working smoke alarm.
Mains powered smoke alarms also require battery backup in case there is a power cut. If your smoke alarm is beeping, this indicates that the battery is low and should be replaced as soon as possible.
For more information on smoke alarms, visit the London Fire Brigade website.
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