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Picture the scene: you should have left the house 15 minutes earlier but you are determined to grab some breakfast.  Suddenly without warning what is that really loud annoying BEEPING sound coming from the hallway? The toast has burned and awoken the whole house with the warning sound of the smoke alarm. This may not be the ideal start to your day but if this happens you should be glad to know that your smoke alarm is working. This particular annoyance can be avoided by having a heat sensor alarm rather than a smoke alarm in the kitchen area. Smoke alarms are there for our safety and particularly when we are asleep.

Never give fire a chance because fire/smoke can literally spread throughout a building in a matter minutes. All smoke alarms should be checked on a regular basis (weekly). In particular any battery operated device should have the battery replaced annualy.Smoke alarms/detectors save lives. This means smoke alarms that are fully functional, not disarmed because the alarm goes off occasionally and annoys you

The history of smoke alarms/detectors started with American inventor Francis Thomas Upton. He created the first fire alarm in 1890. He was a colleague of Thomas Edison and there’s evidence Edison worked on the device.

Each year in Ireland we have Fire Safety Week.

The theme of Fire Safety Week 2011 reminded us of the importance of having working smoke alarms installed in your home and to think constructively about fire safety in advance of winter. Statistically most fire tragedies occur in the winter months. The average smoke alarm costs approximately €10, which is a small price to pay for peace of mind. Remember, your sense of smell does not work when you are asleep and the smoke from a fire can induce a deep sleep. By waking you up in the early stages of a fire, a smoke alarm can literally save your life.

In the event of a fire never re-enter the house – remember get out, stay out and get the fire brigade out.

On average forty six people died in fires in the Republic of Ireland each year since 1998. The vast majority of these are fires occurred in domestic dwellings. Unfortunately a number of these dwellings did not have working smoke alarms. Tragically, most of these deaths could have been prevented if working smoke alarms were installed in the home according to an article from Kildare county council. It also goes on to say that most fires happen at night when people are asleep. By installing smoke alarms –you will have early warning devices which can give you time to act before you and your family are overcome by dangerous fumes and smoke. As a general guide there should be a minimum of one smoke alarm installed for each floor in the house i.e. one in the hall and one on the landing. For additional fire protection you should consider installing smoke detectors in the kitchen and living rooms and even in your bedrooms. The Building Regulations require you to have mains powered smoke / heat detectors in your home. If someone at home is hearing impaired they may not hear an audible smoke alarm i.e. if they do not wear a hearing aid at night. There are smoke alarm systems on the market that use a strobe light or a vibrating pad (that can be placed under the pillow), to provide early warning in the event of a fire. Some smoke alarms now come with a ten year (lithium) battery. These alarms are designed to be replaced as a whole unit thus avoiding the need for battery replacement. If in any doubt replace the smoke alarm. Smoke alarms should be positioned at ceiling level. Keep the smoke alarm clean.. Ensure that everyone in the household is familiar with the sound of the smoke alarm and has practiced and perfected the evacuation drill. When buying a smoke alarm ensure that it conforms to one of the following standards:

Irish Standard IS 409: 1998, British Standard BS 5446

If your smoke alarm sounds never assume it’s a false alarm! – Always act immediately. Better to be safe than sorry.

Make a Fire Escape Plan for your Family and perfect it.

Remember, the Essential Rules of Fire Safety

*Install smoke alarms to give you an early warning in the event of a fire.

*Assess your home and eliminate fire hazards.

*Make a Fire Escape Plan for your family and perfect it.

*There is no going back to save a life – Remember “Get out and Stay Out”

*Call 112/999 to get Fire Brigade

*The best cure is prevention and never gives fire a chance.

*Remember Smoke alarms save lives



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