Smoke Alarms in the Home

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3 min 38 sec
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What we are going to look at now are home smoke alarms. Now we have looked at main smoke alarms within a business, whereas often in the home you will have this kind of fire alarm, but you also get these in businesses as well. It may be that you have got a main fire alarm system and an outbuilding, it may well have an alarm like this or supplementary alarms, or it may be that you don't have a main monitored smoke alarm system - you just use these types of alarm.
So a good example here could be that you have got a long office and then you have an outbuilding out of the back, so having a smoke alarm at the back will indicate that there is a fire and it gives you time to get out way before the actual flames take hold.
The alarm itself is very simple. There are different designs, and this is just one particular brand, but there are lots of other brands. Some of them you can have more than one in your house and they all link through Bluetooth or through Wi-Fi. So if one alarm goes off, it activates all the alarms. So, for example, you may be asleep in bed and the alarm goes off downstairs, but then all the alarms in the whole house go off. So it gives everybody that faster warning.
As far as where to put them, in the standard home it is a good idea to have one on every single floor in a central-type location. So you could have one in the hall and one in the landing. The landing one would then activate as the smoke came up the stairs, and also coming out of any of the bedrooms. Other things you might have are high-risk areas, maybe there is a commercial heater with electrical equipment on the landing. But it is also a good idea if possible to have a smoke alarm available in any room to which the door is left shut. So if you are always sleeping in a room and the door is left shut, again, have one of these in there. It is just giving you that extra element of warning. Now, a smoke alarm is very good as it will tell you to evacuate, but to take them seriously, they have got to work. So the important thing is you always need to make sure they have got a battery in them and the battery is functioning. Most alarms will give out a beep every few minutes if the battery is starting to get low. Others will have a light on for evacuation purposes. So when the alarm goes off, there will also be a light. Because maybe, if there is a fire, the electrics have gone as well, so that will have that. And sometimes those units will have a flashing light - and this light will be flashing as well to show you that the batteries are low.
If you do take the battery out, it is just a standard 9 volt battery. You pull the battery out and once you take the battery out, you can put a new one in. It is very, very simple to fit. The important thing with having smoke alarms is that you test them to make sure they work. Most smoke alarms will have a button on the front, and this is a test button. So when you push that button, the alarm will activate so you know it is working. It will beep for 1 or 2 or 3 seconds, whatever the particular brand will do. If you test the one downstairs, also check the one upstairs. Try and check them every week to check that they are functioning correctly. With the actual test, if you found that there was something wrong, then you need to take it down, you need to check the battery and make sure the battery is ok, and then make sure that you get this working. If there was a fault with them, either send them back or buy another one. They are relatively low price these; they are not an expensive method of protecting yourself, but a very, very important one. Smoke alarms do save peoples' lives every single year. Because they give that early warning!
Having alarms is one thing, but also make sure that everyone in the office or wherever you have got these or at home knows what to do. So when the alarm goes off, you need to make sure that everyone is awake and out the building. You need to know who is in the building, make sure you keep safe and get yourself out - if you have got pets, get them out of the building as well. Don't go back into the building until the fire service say it's safe to do so.