With winter well into swing and as we crank up our heaters in our homes – gas or electrical – it is important to understand the risks that are posed when using high-voltage and flammable household appliances. We are talking about fire, and fire detection. In light of studies compiled in Australia and the US by the NSW Fire Brigade and the NFPA (National Fire Protections Association), did you know that you are twice as likely to die in a home fire if you don’t have a working smoke alarm? In the US, the rate is higher!
Below are some of the report’s findings:
– Three of every five home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms (38%) or no working smoke alarms (21%).
– The death rate per 100 reported home fires was more than twice as high in homes that did not have any working smoke alarms compared to the rate in homes with working smoke alarms (1.18 deaths vs. 0.53 deaths per 100 fires).
– In fires in which the smoke alarms were present but did not operate, almost half (46%) of the smoke alarms had missing or disconnected batteries.
– Dead batteries caused one-quarter (24%) of the smoke alarm failures.
At RADI Electrical, we deal with smoke detectors all the time, through scheduled strata requests, as well as, one-off residential and commercial requests, and it is staggering to know the amount of smoke detectors that are not functioning correctly. Although some of the smoke detectors have a 10-year life span that doesn’t mean they are working correctly – I mean how would you know unless it sounds? It makes you wonder about the dangers that lurk, even with detectors installed.
As an awareness campaign for the winter months, we are urging households to make sure their smoke detectors are working correctly. Tests should be run by an electrical professional at least once a year and we urge our friends, family and customers to do so as a matter of urgency. The risk is not worth it. It is not enough to hop online and try to do it yourself. An electrical professional will make sure the smoke detector is installed according to the building’s code, make sure the detectors are located in the correct locations, run sound tests, run tests with ionised smoke, ensure batteries are working and will continue to run, and connected properly as well as check expiration dates and any faults.
Contact RADI Electrical and see how we can help you get through this winter and help you and your family stay safe.