Smoke alarm

Thinking of getting a smoke alarm for your home or rented property? You should.

Every day in the UK there are around 150 house fires which kill some 500 people and injure a further 11,000. Many of these deaths and injuries could have been avoided if people had been warned and been able to get out of the building in time.

To get your smoke alarm please complete the form on the right »

In fact, people are twice as likely to die in a property that has no smoke alarm than in a property which does.

What are smoke alarms?

Smoke alarms are self-contained devices that detect smoke, typically an indicator of fire. They give off an alarm, providing people with precious minutes to leave a building in safety.

Smoke alarms for landlords and agents

The 1991 Smoke Detectors Act requires that all properties built after June 1992 must have mains-powered smoke alarms fitted on every level of the building.

Although landlords and their agents are not legally required to fit smoke alarms in older properties, the common law ‘duty of care’ means the property they provide must be safe. If a fire causes injury or damage in a rental property where smoke alarms were not fitted, landlords and agents can be fined for having taken adequate precautions.

Once smoke alarms are fitted, the management and/or tenancy agreement must specify who is responsible for the maintenance of the device – the landlord, agent or tenant.

Smoke alarms in commercial premises

Fire safety in England and Wales is covered by the Regulatory Reform Fire Safety Order 2005. The legislation requires a Fire Safety Risk Assessment to be carried out which, in turn, will recommend that fire fighting equipment such as smoke alarms and fire detectors are adequate.

Which smoke alarm should you choose?

gas-elec sells domestic mains-powered smoke alarms with battery back-up. In a standard smoke alarm, the battery will have to be replaced every 12 months which we think poses a risk.

All smoke alarms should meet BS 5446 Part 1, and carry the Kite mark.

How often should smoke alarms be changed?

You should change your smoke alarm every ten years.

Maintaining a smoke alarm

Smoke alarms require minimal maintenance. However you should:

  • Test the alarm by pressing the test button until the alarm sounds once a week.
  • Open the case remove dust from the sensors twice a year.

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