House fires claim the lives of over 200 people each year in the UK, with the majority of fatalities occurring between 10pm and 6am, when people are asleep.
When you are asleep your sense of smell decreases to almost non-existent.
Smoke generated by house fires is thick, dense and dark, making it difficult to find your way to safety. You can't see your own hand at the end of your own arm during a fire! Rubber, plastic, wood upholstery, foam-filling and fabric are the kinds of household materials that fuel house fires.
Your home can be consumed by flames in less than four minutes. Small fires can get out of control in less than 30 seconds - time is not on your side. Make sure that every member of the family knows that speed is of the essence in escaping a house fire. Closing doors can delay the spread of a fire - but don't investigate, just get out fast. Every household should have a practiced escape plan.
Heat from a fire can kill you without being burnt by the flames. The difference between the temperature at head height and floor level can mean the difference between life and death. Temperatures five feet from the floor can be over 300 °C whilst at floor level temperatures may only be 32 °C.
There is evidence that there is a drop in the number of fatalities from domestic fires with an increase in smoke alarm ownership. Affordable, simple to install, and easy to maintain, smoke alarms give a loud signal when activated by a concentration of smoke particles. Having a fully maintained smoke alarm gives you vital early warning.
There are two different technologies used in domestic smoke alarms: Ionisation and Photoelectric (also know as optical). Both are effective at detecting smoke, yet each has a unique detecting system.
The mechanism is particularly effective against fast-flaming fires, which are often caused by oil, fat or petrol. It can detect smoke particles invisible to the naked eye.
These detectors are triggered when the small beam of light in the alarm chamber is reflected by smoke particles. They react especially fast to large particle smoke, often resulting from the slow, smouldering combustion of bedding, sofas, paper and wood.
For the earliest possible warning possible install both technologies. It is important that you choose a product which carries a British Standard or equivalent approval symbol. This will assure you that the product has passed many stringent tests and will offer quality protection.
One is not enough. For minimum protection, smoke alarms should be installed on every level of your house - basement, first floor, second floor, and the loft (if it is furnished) and especially near the sleeping areas.
First Alert offers 'area-of-use' packaging that coordinates each product to a specific room. In this way, you can purchase smoke alarms and other fire safety equipment that have specialised features for the hallway, living areas, bedrooms or other specific locations.
Having working smoke alarms in the proper locations throughout the home greatly improves the chances of surviving a fire. See our installation planner to gain the maximum protection for you and your household.
Smoke alarms provide your first line of defence. The following fire safety products can offer additional protection:
First Alert has been an innovative pioneer within the home safety sector for nearly forty years. We were the first in the world to introduce the smoke alarm, the Carbon Monoxide (CO) alarm, and the combined CO and smoke alarm.
All First Alert smoke alarms conform to the BSI Kitemark and offer a ten year guarantee. Today, First Alert market a complete range of home safety products which include:-
We aim to make your home a safer place.
Most house fires are preventable. There is often a simple solution to make sure tragedy doesn't happen in your home.
Reviewed: 30/04/2019 (doc:147 V2.0). Our articles are reviewed regularly. However, any changes made to standards or legislation following the review date will not have been considered. Please note that we provide abridged, easy-to-understand guidance. To make detailed decisions about your fire safety provisions, you might require further advice or need to consult the full standards and legislation.