Understanding Smoke Alarm Issues
Thanks to previous fire safety campaigns, more than 80% of UK homes now have at least one smoke alarm installed. As a result, fire deaths in British homes have fallen by over 50%.
But people are still dying from fires in the home because they do not hear the alarms they have fitted in time. They include children, the elderly, the disabled, the hard of hearing, anyone impaired by the effects of alcohol and those that naturally sleep deeply.
A recent Australian study, for example, found that only 6% of children woke at the sound of a standard smoke alarm fitted in a home hallway. And even when the alarm was fitted to the ceiling of a child's bedroom the number that woke only rose to 50%.
A survey for WAKE UP found that whilst 79% of people had at least one fire alarm fitted in their home, and the average was three, 37% couldn't remember when they last tested it. Of the others, 37% believed they had tested their smoke alarms in the last three months and 26% said they had done so in the past year.
Government advice is that smoke alarms be tested once a week!
48% of those surveyed had children living in the property, but only 6% said they had smoke alarms fitted throughout the house, and just 7% had a smoke alarm in the bedrooms.
Clearly, the sooner a person wakes up when there is a fire and smoke in the home, the more chance they have of raising the alarm and ensuring both they and their family can safely escape from the building.