We all know that we should fit our homes with smoke alarms and check them regularly, but how many smoke alarms is enough? While there’s no exact number that every home should have, buildings regulations in the UK require your property to meet certain standards.
In reality, though, it’s probably a good idea to have more. The UK Fire Service is called out to over 50,000 house fires every year, many of which kill or injure those involved. The easiest way to reduce your risk of a fire in the home is to take precautions to prevent a fire breaking out in the first place. Even if you take all the precautions possible, though, it’s still important to have an adequate number of smoke alarms.
How many smoke alarms does my house need?
Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer here. The number of smoke alarms your house needs will depend on your personal circumstances. At the very least, you should have a smoke detector on every floor of your house. Of course the more smoke alarms you fit, the more protection you and your home will have.
Do I need a smoke alarm in every room?
While there is no legal requirement for homes to have a smoke detector in every room, having more will only provide additional protection. This is especially true if you have a particularly big house or larger than average rooms. Having a smoke alarm in each room can help detect a fire earlier and, in doing so, save lives.
Where should smoke detectors not be installed?
Although having more smoke detectors will generally provide greater protection, it’s important to avoid placing them in several places. The one room in which you shouldn’t put a smoke alarm is the bathroom because it can be set off by steam from the shower.
Placing a smoke detector over the stove may seem like a good spot but is best avoided, too. Dirt and grease can easily block the smoke detector’s sensor, making it redundant. You should also avoid placing your smoke alarms near vents, fans and other well-ventilated areas since the air can blow smoke away from the detector.
What type of smoke alarm should I use in my home?
There are several types of smoke detectors to choose from. The best one will depend on where you’re using it. In kitchens and garages, heat alarms are the best option. Since they’re insensitive to smoke, they shouldn’t be triggered by everyday activities like cooking. On your home’s landings, an ionisation alarm will be best at picking up fast-spreading fires. In almost every other room, an optical smoke alarm is the safest option. Optical alarms are the best type of smoke alarm for detecting slow-burning fires. Therefore, they’re better equipped to pick up fires caused by upholstery and electrical wiring.
Should smoke detectors be on the wall or ceiling?
Since smoke rises, it’s best to install your smoke detector as high as possible – either on the ceiling or high on the wall. Just remember to leave at least three metres between the smoke alarm and any cooking appliances. For more information about how to make your home safe from fire, visit https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/make-your-home-safe-from-fire where you will find some helpful guides and resources. For expert insurance claim advice following a fire in your home, visit https://www.morganclark.co.uk/for-home-owners/fire/ or contact Morgan Clark today.