A quarter of all people who die in home fires were asleep at the time. Fit smoke alarms to give you time to escape and survive.

A fire strikes when you least expect it, often during the night. It also spreads very rapidly, but the real killer is smoke.

If you are asleep when a fire starts and you don’t have a smoke alarm to wake you, your chances of surviving are zero.

• Half of the deaths in home fires happen between 10pm and 8am.

• A quarter of all people who die in home fires were asleep at the time.

• On average 270 of the people killed in fires each year in the UK didn’t have a smoke alarm.

• Over the last five years, more than 70 people have been killed every year because their smoke alarms didn’t work – usually because the battery was flat or missing.

Which type of smoke alarm should I choose?

There are two main types of smoke alarms they are ionisation alarms and optical alarms.

IONISATION ALARMS are the cheapest and most readily available on the market. They are very sensitive to ‘flaming’ fires, such as chip-pan fires, and will detect this type of fire before the smoke gets too thick.

• Advantages, cheap and responds quickly to flaming fires.

• Disadvantages, less sensitive to slow burning smouldering fires.

• Prone to false alarms from cooking fumes.

OPTICAL ALARMS are more expensive. They are more effective at detecting slow-burning fires, such as smouldering foam-filled furniture and overheated electrical wiring. Optical alarms are less likely to go off accidentally, and are best for ground-floor hallways, and for homes on one level.

• Advantages, sensitive to slow developing smouldering fires.

• Disadvantages, more expensive and less sensitive to rapidly developing flaming fires.

Because both slow-burning and ‘flaming’ fires are common, having one ionisation alarm and one optical alarm would seem to provide the best protection. However, this is unnecessary as all modern smoke alarms are very sensitive.

Where Can I Buy A Smoke Alarm in Fethiye?

You can find battery powered alarms in Kipa and other supermarkets as well as some electrical shops.

Where is the Best Place to Put a Smoke Alarm?

The best place is on the ceiling, as near as possible to the centre of the room, hallway or landing. It should be at least 12 inches (30 centimetres) away from any wall or light. If your accommodation is small (such as a bed-sit) and you cook in the same room that you live in, then you may be put off by smoke alarms because they give a lot of unwanted signals due to cooking fumes.

In this case, before you buy, consider which type of alarm is most suitable to your life style (i.e. one with a hush button) and consider where it would be best sited to protect your escape route.

You should also consider putting a smoke alarm near to big electrical items such as fridges, washing machines and dishwashers as these are common causes of house fires. (Fridges that have been repaired are sometimes refilled by cowboy repairers with cheaper flammable gas which can explode and cause a fire).

Don’t put a smoke alarm:

• Where it cannot be heard when you are asleep;

• On a shelf or in a drawer. Smoke rises straight towards the ceiling and will set off the alarm more quickly if the device is fixed on the ceiling , this gives you the earliest warning of a fire signal and therefore maximum time to react.

More Information

More advice on fire and smoke alarms can be found at Direct Gov.uk

Stay safe and fit a smoke alarm!

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