Next week is the NFCC Home Safety Week. Taking place from Monday 30th September until Sunday 6th October, the annual event aims to raise awareness of fire hazards in the home. The week is organised by the National Fire Chiefs Council and each year’s campaign focuses on a different aspect of home fire safety. This year, it will be the turn of smoke detection in the home.
Raising awareness of smoke detection in the home
The main goal of this year’s NFCC Home Safety Week is to encourage people to check that they have appropriate smoke detection systems installed in their homes. Having a working smoke detector is the easiest way to prevent a fire – or potential fire – from having devastating effects.
We all know how important it is to have a working smoke alarm fitted, but the NFCC Home Safety Week will encourage homeowners to really think about whether their homes are adequately protected. With more gadgets and appliances in our homes than ever before, a single smoke detector may not be enough. It’s very possible that your home may need two or more smoke detectors to ensure it’s fully covered and protected as best it can be.
Ensuring homes are protected
With smoke detection being one of the best ways to reduce the number of home fires and their impact, the key messages of Home Safety Week centre around the actionable steps homeowners can take to protect their properties. These messages, which are based on the NFCC Domestic Detection position statement, are:
Promote the installation of smoke alarms. There should be at least one smoke alarm on every level of a property as a bare minimum.
Ensure the right alarms are installed in the right places. Ideally, there should be an alarm in every room, especially in areas that pose the highest risk of fire.
Troubleshooting for smoke alarms in the home. If a smoke alarm beeps, take a minute to check it’s okay.
Replace alarms after 10 years. Alarms should be replaced every 10 years, even if they appear to be working, because the sensor may have degraded.
Sealed units help prevent the removal and tampering of batteries. In 2017-8, smoke alarms failed to operate in around 20% of cases. 20% of these failures were due to missing or defective batteries.
Be alert to alarms. Don’t be complacent when you hear a smoke alarm. Taking action could save lives.
Smoke detection best practices
Everybody can take a few simple steps to make sure they and their families are as safe as possible. Here are some things to keep in mind this Home Safety Week:
- Consider installing interlinked alarms if you haven’t already. This way, you’ll be able to hear any alerts throughout the property.
- When installing or replacing smoke alarms, the NFCC recommends choosing sealed smoke alarms.
- Don’t cut corners with smoke alarms – make sure you install them properly, using screws rather than glue.
- If you live in rented accommodation, it is up to you – not your landlord – to test your smoke detectors regularly.