Every year, there are approximately 37,000 house fires in the UK. Such incidences could have easily been avoided if the household had reliable smoke alarms – a shocking 38% of smoke alarms failed to sound as a result of disconnected, out of power or missing batteries.
Whilst 1992 building regulations legally require every new property to have at least one wired alarm, it is likely that if you inhabit in a new building, you are relying on an old, ineffective alarm to keep you safe. It is probably long overdue a much-needed upgrade!
With this in mind, we have compiled everything you need to know about smoke alarm installation to keep you and your property safe.
Why do I need a smoke alarm?
As mentioned, smoke alarms are essential to prevent the escalation of house fires and subsequent injuries, and even deaths.
When you are alerted of a fire by the smoke alarm siren, you are given valuable additional seconds to exit the property. This time enables you to leave your house safely, and account for everyone in the property.
In fact, you are four times more likely to survive if you have a working smoke alarm – now, that is a statistic you simply cannot ignore.
How are smoke alarms installed?
For new systems that are wired to the mains, you should consult an electrical specialist to install this for you. The specialist will drill a hole in the desired area, before running a cable to the breaker panel. This process is then repeated until the first and second alarm is connected. Once the cable is sufficiently tightened, the box is then secured and the alarm is wired and attached.
If the system is battery-powered, its installation could not be simpler. These wireless smoke alarms are usually slotted onto a supporting base and work when the batteries are connected. To update your system, simply discard the old one and replace it with a newer system. The new system can usually fit onto the existing slot.
If it is just the batteries which need altering, you can usually do this yourself by inserting new batteries. After they have been installed, ensure that you check that the alarm is working properly. It is important, however, to check that the issue with the alarm is a result of poor batteries. Battery testers are readily available, so it is worthwhile using one of these to assess the battery quality before assuming that this is the issue.
What are the different types of smoke alarms?
Whilst all smoke alarms aim to do the same thing, protect you from harm, they do have slightly different technology.
Ionisation alarms detect smoke particles that the human eye cannot, which helps to prevent fires that quickly escalate as a result of petrol, oil or fat.
Optical alarms sound when smoke particles reflect the beam of light in the alarm system. They tend to be offset by large or quick particle smoke from combusting furniture, wood and paper, for example.
How much do smoke alarms cost to be installed?
The cost of installing a smoke alarm ultimately depends on the type of system, as each system takes a different amount of time to install.
For your home, installation can cost anywhere between £100 to £300, although this cost may be higher if multiple alarms are required. Business premises have costs ranging from £2000 to £5000 due to the size and typically added complexity of installation.
For all your fire detector installation needs, contact Surrey Tech Installation. We have experience in installing smoke alarms in a variety of applications, for both commercial and domestic use. Whether you require a new fire alarm system or want to know more about the system that suits you, get in touch today.