As the number of householders installing smoke alarms grows, the emphasis has started to switch to ensuring that they are well maintained. The Fire Kills campaign has concentrated on the importance of regularly testing smoke alarms. Now we need to raise the awareness that smoke alarms need to be replaced every ten years to ensure that they continue to operate successfully.
Replacing battery powered alarms is relatively straight forward – throw the old one away and fit a new one. Replacing mains-powered alarms has hitherto been more complicated and costly since an electrician has had to be called in to carry out the work. But a new system has just been launched that will make the process a lot simpler and cheaper.
Easichange provides householders with a special unit that can be fitted to the existing system. Using the tool provided the old unit can be simply slid off its base and the new one put in its place. No need for specialist help – it’s as easy as changing a light bulb.
The easichange system is applicable to Ei mains-powered smoke and heat alarms which are the most common mains-powered alarms operating in the UK.
Since 1992 building regulations have required that at least one smoke alarm, wired directly to the mains, is installed in every new property. It is believed that many people living in new build houses are relying upon smoke alarms which could be in effect many years overdue for replacement. These properties will be registered as having alarms fitted so will not necessarily be targeted areas for home fire safety checks, meaning that the percentage of homes with working smoke alarms could well be going down.
So the message has to be that if you’re in any doubt, and whether you have battery or mains-powered alarms, get them checked and if necessary replaced.
Where can I buy them?
We recommend you buy your smoke alarms from a reputable company such as Safelincs who are able to cater for all your fire safety needs with their extensive range of products.
Buying and fitting smoke alarms, and ensuring they are carefully and properly maintained, could give you those precious few extra minutes in which to make your escape safely.
Plan an escape from your home in advance and talk about it with your family. If a fire occurs you may have to get out in the dark and difficult conditions. Escaping will be a lot easier it everyone knows where to go. Make sure your routes remain free of any obstructions and that there are no loose floor coverings that could trip you.
Always check the battery regularly, replacing it when necessary, and never remove it for other purposes.