Every year the Fire and Rescue Service is called to over 600,000 fires which result in over 800 deaths and over 17,000 injuries.
About 50,000 (140 a day) of these are in the home and kill nearly 500 and injure over 11,000, many which could have been prevented if people had an early warning and were able to get out in time. In fact you are twice as likely to die in a house fire that has no smoke alarm than a house that does.
Buying a smoke alarm could help save your home and the lives of you and your family.
What types of smoke alarms are available?
There are three types of smoke alarm currently on the market – ionisation, optical (also described as photo electronic) and combined:
- Ionisation: These are the cheapest and cost very little to purchase. They are very sensitive to small particles of smoke produced by flaming fires, such as chip pans, and will detect this type of fire before the smoke gets too thick. They are marginally less sensitive to slow burning and smouldering fires which give off larger quantities of smoke before flaming occurs.
- Optical: These are more expensive but more effective at detecting larger particles of smoke produced by slow-burning fires, such as smouldering foam-filled upholstery and overheated PVC wiring. They are marginally less sensitive to free burning flaming fires.
- Combined: These detectors are effective at detecting slow-burning as well as flaming fires – which are both common types of fire.