A smoke detector can be one of the most important investments for your home. It has the ability to protect you and your loved ones if the unthinkable was to happen. It is important that the right smoke detector type is installed, that it is properly installed, and that is it in good working order. It is also important to test your smoke alarms on a regular basis and change batteries yearly.
The number of smoke detectors required in your home will depend on the size of your home. It is important that smoke detectors are placed where they will be of most use, for example in central living areas and in sleeping rooms. It is also important that smoke detectors are placed on each level of your home. If you have a new home, there should already be smoke detectors installed - however it is important to double check that your protection is adequate. Make sure there are enough and that they are the right type. If you are unsure, have a conversation with a licensed electrician.
Testing your detectors every few months is important. Don’t assume that batteries will last a few years - in fact, we encourage you to put fresh batteries in yearly. The Queensland Fire and Emergency Service recommends changing batteries on April 1st. Click on the link to read more about the importance of smoke alarms.
Installation of the right type of smoke alarm is crucial. When we sleep, our senses also sleep, which means that you may not smell smoke and wake up. Having photoelectric smoke alarms installed can protect you while you are asleep. Photoelectric smoke alarms see the smoke and will alert you to the danger. Having smoke alarms interconnected also means that you will be alerted no matter when or where a fire breaks out.
Another factor to consider when thinking of keeping your family and home safe against fire is appliances and overloading sockets/power boards. Overloaded power boards are one of the biggest risk factors for fires in homes - and it is easily prevented. Just because a power board has 6 sockets available, doesn’t mean you should plug in 6 cords. Power boards have a maximum load printed on the back. It is important that you never overload the board as this can pose a fire and personal safety risk. Instead, consider having additional power points installed.
Talk about your fire escape plan with your family. Make sure that you have talked about how to get out of your home if a fire was to break out in different locations. Discuss safe evacuation with your children, show them how to call 000 and practise reciting your address with them.
Legislation around smoke alarms can affect us differently depending on whether we are a home owner, landlord, tennant, or renovator. It is important to make sure that you are aware of your obligations. Finding out where you stand is as easy as visiting the QFES website. If you need smoke alarms installed, make contact with us today!