Fire alarms

Advice on using fire alarms to protect your home, plus the opportunity to purchase a range of wireless, battery powered, sprinkler and complete fire alarm systems.
When baby proofing your home you not only need to think about baby-hazards such as sharp corners and cupboard doors, but also take into consideration the overall safety. A fire alarm is one of the most important fixtures you can install in your home. Simply by installing and maintaining one fire alarm you double your families chances of surviving a serious fire.

There are two general categories of fire alarms available and within these broad categories there are many different types. Ionisation alarms detect flaming fires (which is why they often go off when you are cooking as they sound when they detect smoke); these tend to be the cheapest alarms and are available from most hardware stores. Optical fire alarms are designed to detect smouldering fires (such as those caused by overheating cables) and although these do tend to be more expensive, they are more sensitive and less likely to sound accidentally.

Battery powered fire alarms are widely available as are types with 10 year lithium batteries. Fire alarms which are powered by the mains electricity supply are also available although these should be fitted by a qualified electrician. Varieities which light up or interconnect with others throughout the home are also available. Before installing a fire alarm you should check that it meets British Standard 5446 part 1 and carries a British Standard Kitemark or PCB 'Horseshoe' mark.

Buying and installing a fire alarm in your home is not enough. To ensure that you have sufficient warning to escape in the event of a fire, it is recommended that you should test your alarms once a week, clean dust from them once every six months and replace the batteries once a year. Ideally you sould have a fire alarm in each room where major electrical appliances are kept, however this is not always possible. At the minimum you should place one alarm on the landing of each floor of your home at least 30cm away from any walls or lights. However, if you are able to put more around your home, you should as you will be provided with more warning in the event of a fire.

By regulary checking the fire alarms around your home and by observing good fire safety practices, you will help to make your home safer for both you and your baby.

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