Smoke alarms save lives. When they are fitted you are alerted to a potential fire much earlier than you would be. This gives you the opportunity to get yourself and your loved ones out.
Of course, the smoke detector should only be part of your defense strategy. Having fire extinguishers, fire blankets, and even the latest smoke curtains will all help to slow the spread of a fire. That’s the main aim, to buy you time to get out safely.
Remember, possessions can be replaced, people can’t.
With that in mind, you’ll want to think carefully about where best to position your smoke detectors. Don’t forget, they are a legal requirement if you’re a landlord.
A smoke detector should be fitted in the center of a room. This gives the detector the most chance of detecting a fire in the room as early as possible. Smoke generally rises, that’s why smoke detectors can be confidently placed on ceilings. The smoke will go to it
However, you’ll need to proceed with caution in the kitchen. Because of the cooking, you do a smoke alarm can experience a lot of false triggers. This can be annoying and even lead to people powering off the detector. If you forget to power it back up you may as well not have a detector.
You can purchase smoke detectors specifically designed for the kitchen, these are a good idea. You’ll still need to follow the instructions when fitting them to make sure they are not too close to the stove.
The perfect solution when fitting smoke detectors is to place one in every room of the house. However, for many people, this is not a practical solution.
It should be noted that smoke doesn’t go through closed doors. If you sleep with your door closed it’s best to have a smoke detector in your room, this will give you the earliest possible warning.
If you opt for just one alarm on each level then the best place to locate them is the stairway. As smoke rises this is where it will travel first. A smoke alarm on each level at the stairs will increase the likelihood of you being alerted early.
It’s possible to interconnect smoke alarms. This means if one goes off the others will as well. By doing this you’ll increase the chances of you hearing the alarm early and getting out safely. Remember, if the smoke alarm goes off you need to react and assume there is a fire.
The most important thing is getting you and your family out safely.
While a smoke alarm should be fitted to the ceiling it is possible to place them on the walls. They’ll need to be between 500 and 1500mm of the ceiling. But, where possible the preferred option is still the center of the ceiling.
You should also make sure they are not too close to a light fitting or ventilation vent. These will both prevent the smoke detector from doing its job properly.