How healthy is your Smoke Alarm?
There is no doubt smoke alarms save lives, I have seen this many times. They are cheap, easy to use and simple to maintain. However, I have attended many fires where alarms were present but failed to actuate and therefore allowed the fire to go unnoticed resulting is serious injuries and extensive property damage.
So why didn't they actuate?            One answer, lack of maintenance.
You need to know that the alarm will sound when you need it most. For example at 3 in the morning when an electrical fault in the lounge has created sufficient heat to start a small fire. The alarm should sound now (we know how sensitive they are from when we've overcooked the dinner!); we now escape the property at little risk and alert the Fire Service. The alternative is that it doesn't sound and we become reliant on someone noticing it as it becomes rapidly much bigger. The odds are now stacked against us; indeed we may never wake up.
So how should a smoke alarm be maintained?
Once a week ~ Test the battery by pressing the test button until the alarm sounds.
Once a year ~ Change the battery (unless it's a 10-year alarm) perhaps on a memorable date?
Twice a year ~ open the case and gently vacuum the inside to remove dust from the sensors. If it doesn't open, vacuum through the holes
After 10 years it's best replace your alarm with a whole new unit
False alarms can show either that the alarm needs servicing or it is incorrectly positioned.
Smoke alarms are the most vital wake up call you'll ever get. If you would like further advise on smoke alarms (purchase, sighting, maintenance) or how to make your family fire action plan. Please contact me or pop in to your local Fire Station
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