Fire Alarms in the Home – A Burning Issue

Fire Alarms in the Home : A Burning Issue

More than 500 people per year are killed in house fires every year in the United Kingdom, with over 11,000 injured. An early warning of fire would have prevented many of these, as the Fire Brigade tells us that you are twice as likely to die in a house fire if you don’t have an alarm. The most common form of fire alarm for the home is a smoke alarm.

Insurance companies are becoming increasingly reticent to pay out when property has been damaged by fire, if they consider the homeowner negligent in their duty of care. Not all companies will pay out if the home wasn’t equipped with a smoke alarm as it is considered to be a vital piece of equipment in protecting your home against fire.

A smoke alarm can detect a fire within a couple of minutes of it starting, giving you and your loved ones vital minutes to get out of the building to safety and raise the alarm.

Different Types of Fire Alarms, London

It is important to understand the difference between what fire alarms are available, so you can buy the one that is best for your personal circumstances. There are three different types of alarms:-

Ionisation: these are the most popular and cheapest type of fire alarms London available. Flaming fires, such as chip pan fires produce small particles of smoke and this type of alarm works by detecting these particles from the flames. The alarm is sensitive enough to go off in the early stages of the fire, before the smoke becomes thick. The alarm is not quite so sensitive at detecting smouldering or slow burning fires, as these produce more smoke before any flaming occurs.

Optical: These fire alarms, London can detect the larger smoke particles that are commonly produced by wiring and upholstery fires and other smouldering fires. They are not quite so sensitive to flaming fires. These alarms are considered to be middle of the range.

Combined: With top of the range sensitivity, these alarms are great at detecting both small and large smoke particles, making them sensitive to all types of fires. They are the most expensive to purchase.


Some fire alarms, London have added extras such as an emergency light, which illuminates when the alarm goes off, giving you some much needed light in the dark or if smoke is hampering your sight. A silence button is also found on some alarms, which is useful if your cooking keeps making the alarm go off. Don’t forget to turn it back on when you have finished though.

Battery Powered Alarms

Most alarms are powered by a battery, which should be checked regularly to make sure it is working. On average, a smoke alarm battery will need changing once a year and will usually start beeping when it is nearing the end of its life, giving you a chance to replace it before it stops working completely.

Mains Powered Alarms

Less popular than the standard battery powered alarms, a mains powered alarm means that you don’t have to worry about checking the battery. However, it is advisable to have a battery back up, just in case of power cuts and this will obviously cost you extra.