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Smoke Detectors in General

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      27.07.2009 16:35
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      A cheap life saver.

      Family Gard Smoke Alarm.

      I always consider the safety of my family as paramount to anything else and as my husband is a smoker I have always been aware of the dangers involving cigarettes. However, I am also aware that fires can be caused by faulty wiring and electrical equipment and I know that if a fire starts when the family are asleep we are unlikely to smell any smoke.

      I therefore already have these fire alarms installed in each of the bedrooms, the hall, lounge and dining area which is just off the kitchen. However, they are all over 3 years old and the colour of some of them has deteriorated over the years so much so that they now look shabby against my newly decorated ceilings which is why I have just purchased 5 more of these smoke alarms at £5.99 each.

      I decided to get the same make as before so that they would fit exactly where the old ones have been mounted and they have served me well over the years. However, I noticed that there is now a good range of types, shapes and sizes available.

      This unit is designed to be mounted on the ceiling and there are easy to follow instructions on how to do this supplied in the packaging but it does involve a little drilling and screwing. The unit is circular, white and about 14 centimetres in diameter, making it very compact and well designed. It has a 9V battery included which lasts about a year. There is an arrow on the side of the unit and the words "open here". which when pulled open releases the hinged cover which makes it very easy to replace the battery, especially if you are standing on a ladder with a replacement battery in one hand. When the battery needs replacing you hear a intermittent beeping sound to warn you that the battery is running down. The beeps get louder and more regular during the day so you can't ignore the fact that a new battery is required. There is also a test button to check the alarm is functioning and a 3 year guarantee. There is also a detailed information booklet enclosed in the packaging with interesting information on limitations and locations and what to do in case of a fire.

      This smoke alarm is reasonably priced, easy to install and stylish and above all it can save lives. What a small price to pay!!!!!!!
      Worth every penny.

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        11.07.2009 16:40
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        These could potentially save you life

        If you want you, your family and pets to live in a safe house smoke detectors are an essential peice of furniture.

        I live alone (well with my dog) in an average size house over to floors witha converted attic and initially used to have just the one smoke alarm at the bottom of my stair near the front door. This was until it was highlighted at a work study day how important they are and how many you should have.

        It was in a fire saftey lecture (if your wondering I work for the NHS in a large hospital and its mandatory to have fire training) that the local fire brigade came and chatted to the class about the importance of detecting fires early and the implications of not doing so. We were educated about loads of issues relating to fire safety within the home such as the risks of double adaptor plugs and having planned escape routes.

        The lecture gave me a harsh reality check and I decided there and then to get my home safer. At the end of the class the fire service left some leaflets encouraging people to arrange home fire safety checks with their local brigade. Before then I had never heard of the fire brigade coming out to indiviual homes and making specific safety plans for that house. We were told that if you arranged this the fir team would come round in their engine during duty and plan you escape route, look for areas of bad practice (which could encourage a fire), fit you with free smoke alarms and give you advice on what to do if there was a fire within your home.

        I took a leaflet and arranged an appointment a couple of weeks later. I was informed that as the team were on duty if they were needed for an emergency they would have to leave my assessment asap and would arrange another.

        When they came a few weeks later I was provided witha an outstanding service, whilst one fireman examined my house, checking doors, locks and windows and fitted 3 new alarms another chatted to me about my escape route, my double adaptor and extension leads, my gas cooker, candles and other potential hazards within my house.

        I was overjoyed with the way I was treated and got reasurred and educated by the friendly, happy to help firemen.

        I would definately recommend this service to all home owners, it free of charge so no reason not to.

        I live in the Manchester area but prsume this is a nationwide service so get in touch with your local fire service (DO NOT RING 999) and request a visit.

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          27.04.2009 12:47
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          A cheap way to save the lives of your family

          We decided this week that we should replace the smoke detectors in our house. we had fitted them about 10 years ago and I was reading an artical in the paaper that recommended replacing them every 10 years.

          We had to get some other products from Screw fix and as we have a store in Bedford we decided to get some detectors at the same time.

          We purchased a Dicon alarm which came in a twin pack for £7.50. They also came with a spare set of batteries which made them even better value. They didn't come with any fixings so if they are being fitted from scratch you will need to buy some screws.

          They are in white plastic and are only four inches round so they are not too noticeable when they are put up. These small and inexpensive devices are sucha simple way to protect your family it is really silly that there are still many homes that do not have them fitted.

          Once you have fitted them it is very important that you test them regularly to make sure that the batteries are not flat. I try to make sure I test them on the first of the month - that way I make it a habit.

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            23.03.2006 17:32
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            A must for every home

            It's an alarming thought that someone dies every day due to the fact they never had a smoke alarm fitted. Another reason for this is the removal of the devices' battery, or indeed a flat battery. It is to this end that our local council comes round a check on a regular basis. If you do have a smoke alarm fitted and it tends to beep now and then, this could be an indication the battery needs replaced.

            Most fires start at night and if you do not have an alarm fitted your chances of survival are virtually Zero. Fire is not the main killer in accidents like this. If you have no alarm and are asleep, it's the smoke that's going to get you first. Not a nice way to go, but you can give yourself a fighting chance if you BUY A SMOKE ALARM.

            We have two smoke alarms in our house, and there are many occasions when I felt like breaking them down from their prominence on the ceiling. You see when my wife is preparing Sunday lunch they go off continuously. This is so annoying since it takes ages of fanning with a newspaper or the like to get them to stop. So like a fool I sometimes unhinge the battery to stop the incessant noise. If I forget to re-fit the battery correctly I am putting not just myself but my whole family in serious danger.

            A basic smoke alarm can be bought for £5, which considering what is at stake is not a lot. It's not just your family you are putting at risk, what about all you valuables. All those pictures, videos of the kids growing up. Your wedding album might be quite amusing to look back on if you've been married as long as I have, but do you really want to risk losing it in a fire. What also of your beloved pets, they can't help by shouting and most times they are downstairs and first to be placed in danger.
            Your home could be substantially damaged costing not just money but time to repair. Once repaired and re-decorated would you really feel as safe here as you did before.

            And what if you were lucky enough to survive, but members of your family were lost, HOW WOULD YOU FEEL IF IT WAS YOU WHO HADN'T FITTED THE BATTERY CORREECTLY OR AT ALL . How would you feel looking at your perhaps scarred face every morning knowing that a little care could have prevented it all. The physiological damage could have many implications. You might get lucky and escape little or no damage, do you really want to place your chances with lady luck. I THINK NOT.

            Most of these devices use a PP3 battery which costs between £1 and £2.49 depending on which make you chose. SO for £6 -£7.50 you can be protected against the emotional and physical pain. The damage to property and possessions.

            I make sure everything is OK now, not that I've had any scares I just love my family and want to spend as long as I can in good health with them. Not much to ask is it.

            If you haven't got an alarm GET ONE NOW, not soon NOW. They are simple to fit and extremely effective warning devices. Life savers in fact. A little piece of mind can be of great benefit.

            Once fitted you can be sure that should you be unlucky enough to have a fire, you will be given an audio warning when the alarm goes off. This could save you precious time as you try to evacuate you family to a safe area.

            The National Community Fire Safety Centre can provide you with more information on their work to prevent fires. contact them at www.ncfsc@odpm.gsi.gov.uk

            For more information on fire safety at home goto www.firekills.gov.uk

            For more general information on fire safety contact victoria.watkins@odpm.gsi.gov.uk

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              11.07.2002 22:19
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              I am a senior fire officer with 30 years experience of fire fighting having spent most of that time working in and around the West Midlands. I have attend a number of house fires that have resulted in the death of the occupiers, it has also been my great misfortune to have attended some that involved the death of children. In all of those incidents involving the death of children a fitted, working smoke alarm would have made a difference. I have in the last 7 years attended 3 incidents that involved multiple child deaths, 4 in one and 3 each at the other two.It is impossible for me to explain how that feels other than to say it is a nightmare and is something that you can never become hardened to. The answer is simple, fit smoke alarms in your home and test them regularly so you know they work. Please do it now or at worst this week end. I am very impressed with the depth of knowledge that is shown on this site by other writers and offer them my hearty congratulations, consequently I do not intend to go into detail about types and fitting but recommend that you read the advice mentioned above but remember, IF YOU NEED ADVICE, ASSISTANCE OR GUIDANCE ON ANY MATTER TO DO WITH DOMESTIC FIRE SAFETY GO TO YOUR LOCAL FIRE STATION AND ASK. THEY WILL BE MORE THAN WILLING TO HELP YOU, IT IS PART OF THEIR JOB. Most of us in the fire service like going to fires, thats what we joined the job to do, however none of us like attending fatal incidents, especially those involving children and the answer lies with you, its easy, fit a smoke detector or two. Talk about it as a family, what would you do at 2 in the morning if it sounded? How would you get out if the stairs were unusable? Do the children know what to do if they hear it before you? All of this is about an escape plan, you need one. Talk to the kids, it's not scary, its less scary than "Stranger Danger" make a game of it, they will
              love it. Fire doesn't just kill children of course, old people are also particularly at risk. So if your parents or other relatives or friends are retired why not fit a smoke alarm or 2 for them and help them sort out an escape plan, what better gift for your relatives than a fitted smoke alarm. Every time I visit my mum I test her smoke alarm, it takes two minutes and I have peace of mind, it's become a ritual, she puts the kettle on and I test the smoke alarm. I could write for ever about this stuff, fire safety in your home is so easy, please go to your local fire station and ask for their help, they will have all sorts of leaflets and information for you that explains in laymans terms what you need to do. If you don't take action what is the alternative? Unfortunately I and many of my fellow fire fighters know the answer to this: picking up dead children is awful, hearing the cries of anguish of their parents is awful and knowing that this could have been stopped for the want of a £5 or less smoke alarm is hard to stomach. You can change this in your home for your family, it realy can't wait.

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                15.06.2002 04:29
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                I have decided to write this opinion after my husband receiving a phone call from my mother, who in turn had received a call from my sister who was rather upset. You see my sister had heard on the news that there had been a house fire in Blackpool and three young brothers had been killed. The ages of the children were the same as my boys. During the course of the preliminary investigation yesterday, the fire officers found no sign of a smoke alarm in the property. Although we have a smoke alarm, until yesterday it had no battery in for about a year, because the smallest amount of smoke from cooking would set it off. During a fire smoke is responsible for 3 out of every 4 deaths and the installation and correct use of smoke detectors give an early warning to the danger. I have looked in both Index and Argos catalogues and they both have a pack of two alarms for £6.99, although you could spend out a bit more and get them with lights in, especially good for stairways as the way out is then lit. You should have a smoke detector on every level of your home, this is because smoke rises and if fire breaks out above the level of your smoke alarm it will not be set off as soon as if it is above the seat of the fire. You should always test your alarms every month, maybe on the first of each month as it is an easy date to remember. (Follow the instructions that come with the unit to see where the test button is.) You should also test the sensor by getting a ?smoking? item and holding it near to the unit to check that it is working. Keep the unit dust free, either with your vacuum cleaner or a pressurised air canister, such as those recommended for cleaning PC?s. Change the battery every year, and pay out a little more for a decent brand, such as Duracell or Ever Ready, as the cheaper ones won?t last as long. If the battery is running low before you think you need to change it, the unit will start to beep so re
                member to keep a spare battery in stock. What ever the cost of a smoke alarm, surely it is worth it for the peace of mind, and the early warning that could save yours or your families life. Keep Safe.

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                  07.04.2002 15:18
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                  As the title of this op suggests, this is a serious subject; so there's no witty title and no funny stories. This is a piece of advice that, as the title suggests, may help to save your life in the event of a fire in your home. I hope you never have to test out its effectiveness, but if you invest in a smoke alarm, you may be making one of the most sensible purchases of your life. I'm sure you are aware that many injuries and deaths caused by fires could be prevented if the people concerned were able to get out in time. If they had a warning of the fire in their house they could have some chance of escape. A smoke alarm is a way of providing a warning that could potentially save you and your family. Smoke alarms cost from around £5.00; a small price to pay if it saves your life! They are available from all good DIY or hardware stores. You can even buy them at Argos, so there is no excuse for not having at least one in your home. Government figures show that every year 400 people die and 12,500 are injured as a result of fires in the home. A smoke alarm would probably have saved around 270 of these people. (Figures were issued as part of the Government?s Excuses Kill : Get a Smoke Alarm Campaign.) ~~~TYPES OF SMOKE ALARM There are two types of smoke alarm; ~~~IONISATION - These are sensitive to the smoke particles caused by smoking fires and will sound before the smoke gets too thick. These are the cheapest form of smoke alarm, they are good, but aren't as good for detecting smouldering fires which don't give off as much smoke. ~~~OPTICAL - These cost more money, but are better for detecting smoke from slow burning fires. They are also known as photoelectric smoke alarms. ~~~WHAT IS A SMOKE ALARM? Also called smoke detectors, they are small machines that sound a loud warning during the early moments of a fire. You fit them to your ceiling and they can be powered by either b
                  attery or mains power. ~~~WHICH ALARM SHOULD I BUY? Always buy an alarm that conforms to the British Standard. You will recognise this by the kite symbol; the emblem that shows it has been passed by the British Standards Institute (BSI). ~~~WHERE SHOULD I FIT MY ALARM? The best place to fit an alarm is on the ceiling, as near to the centre of the room as you can (but at least 12 inches from a light fitting or a wall). Don't fit the alarm in the kitchen or the bathroom because cooking fumes and steam may set it off (the same goes for a garage because of exhaust fumes). If you want you can have more than one alarm in your house; recommended places to put them are in the hallway or the bedroom. Just make sure that it's in a place where you can hear it, even with the doors shut at night! The best advice I can give is that you read the instructions on the packaging and follow the manufacturer's guidelines. ~~~SO, ONCE I'VE FITTED IT, IS THAT IT? As long as you maintain your alarm you should be ok. Get into the habit of introducing a regular maintenance programme: Every month you should check that the battery in your detector is still alright. There is a test button on the alarm for this purpose. Also give the sensor a test too to make sure that is still working. Every year you should change the battery in your alarm and make sure there is no dust inside that could stop the sensor from operating effectively. A word of warning - Never borrow the battery from your smoke alarm for something else. You always intend to put it back, but if you forget the results could be disastrous! If you follow these instructions your alarm should be functioning and may be invaluable in the event of fire. I have had never had a mains operated alarm so I can't really offer any advice about these. I don?t know what happens if the power fails, (I presume that they have some sort of backup supply)
                  or how to check them, but I'm sure that the manufacturer's instructions will provide this information for you. A smoke alarm is the first stage in preventing injury through fire. You must also have an "escape plan"; a safe route out of your home. My local fire service provides useful advice on this on its web-site (www.derbyshire-fire-service.co.uk they also have a kids section to make fire safety accessible to children), and I'm sure that most other fire services do the same. I would recommend that you check these out, or get a leaflet on fire safety from the Fire Station or the Library. Community Fire Safety Officers are also available for advice and can also arrange checks of your home. They can offer help in finding the best place to fit your detector and also in general fire safety and prevention. I think that they will even be able to arrange for someone to help fit your alarm for you if this is difficult for you. I think there is a charge, but I think this would vary from place to place. The benefits still out-weigh the cost! If you live in rented accommodation, you would be wise to contact your landlord to find out whose responsibility it is to fit and maintain a smoke detector. The National Smoke Detector campaign is currently encouraging all local authorities to fit alarms in their rented properties; so if you haven't got one I would start asking why! If you follow this advice, and try to be as safety conscious as you can, you and your smoke alarm should be in good working order for a long time to come!

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                    30.10.2001 18:05
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                    Hi everyone! A good way to make sure that your smoke alarm works at its best at all times is to use lithium batteries. You may have to buy them from shops like Maplin, but they are designed for applications where very little power is drawn during most of the device's life but the device needs maximum power when it needs it. In most situations, the smoke alarms go for weeks on end without sounding, but if the battery is getting towards the end of its life, the unit may not work as it should. Also, a good idea is to encourage your DIY store to source lithium 9V batteries, in order to permit people to use them with their smoke alarms. With regards, Simon Mackay

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                      12.09.2001 23:32
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                      I will begin this opinion by telling you that, ever since we had a fire at home when I was about 7 years old, I have been petrified of fire. In fact I am even scared of burnt out buildings! It was in the old days of real fires and using something across the front of the fireplace to ‘draw’ the fire up the chimney to get it going. Mom used a piece of corrugated cardboard, got the fire going and, not realising that the cardboard was smouldering, put it away in the cubby-hole where we stored my toys and some other bits and pieces. When she returned to get something from the cubby-hole later flames greeted her as she opened the door. We were lucky as one of our neighbours came to help and he and mom managed to put out the fire before the fire brigade even arrived. In fact we were very lucky as there were pots of paint stored on the top shelf of the cubby-hole so heaven knows what would have happened if they had caught fire. Since then I have always been very frightened of fire and do all I can to make sure that I and my home and family are as safe as possible. I have a smoke alarm fitted to the ceiling on the landing of the house. It is fitted to the ceiling rather than to a wall as smoke rises and, if the smoke detector is horizontal, it will react more quickly as the smoke will rise into it. If it is vertical the smoke will rise past it for vital seconds before it enters the detector and sets off the alarm. The smoke alarm beeps when the battery is low and the sound is so annoying that I get the old battery out straight away. I always then keep the old battery somewhere obvious to remind me to get a new one at once. I test the smoke alarm at regular intervals to make sure that it is in good working order. It’s a bit late to find out that it doesn’t work when the house is on fire isn’t it? I also have one or two tips on fire prevention and general fire safety, which I’ll
                      share with you in case they might be of some help to anyone else. I have double glazed windows with window locks and have seen items on television programmes showing just how difficult it is to break such windows in a time of emergency. For this reason there is a key to unlock the windows on every windowsill in the house where there is an opening window. It is an easy thing to do, just to pop a little key inside one of the ornaments on the windowsill, but it could save your life. I never use a chip pan any more, as I am always frightened that the telephone or something of that nature may distract me and make me forget that the fat is heating. Instead I now use a deep fat fryer on the very rare occasions that I fry chips. These are not expensive, in fact I got mine as a free gift when I started using a particular mail order catalogue. One thing that I keep meaning to get that I do not possess at present is a fire extinguisher for the kitchen. I know I am extra careful where flames are concerned but it doesn’t hurt to have a backup – even though the fire station is almost opposite our house! If we have a bar b que in the garden I always have the watering can full of water next to it just in case of accidents and I also douse the whole thing with water when the cooking is finished. I saw a fire safety interview on GMTV yesterday and they were talking about candles and how someone had left an unattended night light on the top of the TV. The candle itself had no protective cover on it so the candle burnt right down onto the top of the TV, which caught fire, began to melt and then exploded! I could not believe my eyes. How can anyone be so silly as to leave a candle unattended and not to place on some kind of protective surface in the first place? Obviously keep candles away from furnishings such as curtains, decorations, cards, clothing etc and never, ever leave them alight when you go to bed or go out! <
                      br> Another obvious one is to make sure that your cigarettes are fully extinguished before you throw them away. If Dave or I have a cigarette we always run the butt under the tap before we throw it in the bin to make absolutely certain that it won’t set fire to any of the other rubbish. As I say some of these are fairly obvious to anyone with any common sense, so forgive me if I have been at all patronising, but it is rather a crusade of mine. There may be something there that has helped you even if it is just to remind you to check your smoke alarm!

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                        26.07.2001 02:45
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                        FIRE STARTER… As most of you know we had a fire 3 weeks back, in our flat! The flat was gutted through to our living room, contents the lot were lost. This happened due to my son Nicki, it was around 12.30 on the Sunday night, I had just had a cigarette at our front door as we didn’t smoke in the flat anymore, so put my lighter back into my coat pocket, hung up at front door, and went into the living room to turn everything of before going to bed. I had just got my night clothes on, then I heard Nicki shouting for Becca, then all I heard was Becca shouting for me, usually I wouldn’t bother to go in but was very late to leave them shouting, so I went into there room (right near the front door) and Nicki was sat on the floor next to his bedroom door, and looking worried, and Becca said her bum was hot so I looked under the bunk beds to see what was going on, and saw a small fire on Nicki’s bunk bed, the flames were just touching Becca’s bed on the top , so I shouted for Andy to get some water , and I took Becca of her bed , but just as I did that the flames got loads worse and caught my hair , but Becca was fine I shielded her from the flames . Putting the kids outside, I went back to the front door to get my brother to phone for the fire brigade as it was uncontrollable by then, it seemed like a life time until my brother got near the front door, and he had to run through the flames but never got hurt (luckly), we had to get all the block of flats up and out of there beds as the way the fire was going it looked like the whole block may go up, as we were doing that I noticed that the flames were pouring out from the window panes but the window had not smashed out . We ran to Ana’s over the road, as that’s where the kids had been taken, I asked Ana to phone the fire brigade again as they were not there still, so she did. At this point I realised my much loved dog
                        was trapped inside, so I was screaming for scrappy to come to me, she did not come, so as soon as the fire brigade came I said get my dog out please, I kept asking for them to get her, after about 20 minutes they came out with her, but I knew she was dead when I saw her, but they were trying to get her going by giving her oxygen and saying her name, I thought if she heard my voice she would come round and breathe again, but she never (very sad), I just held her and could not stop crying. Two hours had gone by and they had just got the fire under control, but were still putting it out where it was to hot (1000 degrees) in there. So I thought I would come over to the kids and ask them what had happened, so Nicki started to tell me that he had waited for me to go in the living room so I couldn’t hear him , he got some toilet roll and pinched a lighter from my coat , and set fire to it , but when he realised how bad it was he said he shouted for Rebekah , and she looked down and saw the fire , so shouted for me. So I went to tell the fire officers, they said do not worry about it, kids do stuff like this all the time, and said they did not need to do a report on it. We did have a smoke alarm but due to me going into the room when I did, I had caught it before the alarm had. But they said that when we get a new house, they will give us them free of charge, and they will fit them in the correct places for us, they usually charge £10 for the house to be fitted for you, but they said we can have them free. You can go to your nearest fire brigade and ask as they do this now in all areas, so people are safe and at a very cheap price! And it could also save your life, worth it in my eyes. I also took Nicki to see our doctor as he has been very difficult to handle for two years now , and I have said to the doctors and everyone else that one day something will happen , then you will have to do something to help us with Nick , fi
                        nally after this bad incidence they are finally , he is seeing a specialist doctor now and they are testing him for A.D.H.D and a few other things , but in the mean time they have put Nick on sleeping medicine so we can sort of rest at night , and have sent him to see this organisation for kids with behaviour problems , they are teaching Nicki as to how to behave and what we have to do when he is very naughty. Finally they are getting something done about Nick, it has taken me 2 years to get any sort of help with Nicki, but I did not ever give up especially after this I was more determined to get him this help, if your child is like this with behaviour problems do not give up and plague everyone to help you, doctors, health visitors, school, any one you think can help. But most of all get FIRE ALARMS fitted if you can not afford to buy them then go to your nearest fire brigade and they will do them cheaper and fit them in the correct places all very worth saving a life for £10. Thanks for all your support and reads. Vicki x And sorry forgot to tell you all DON'T forget to stick the hoover inside every so often to clean it as so essential to do this, and check batteries regualy.

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                          29.05.2001 03:11
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                          • "Change batteries promptly"

                          The message is simple - smoke detectors can save your life. And your family. Smoke detectors are old news now - everyone knows about them, but you would be surprised how many households do not have them, or do not have them in the right place. You can pick up smoke detectors for a few pounds these days, so there is no excuse not to have several in your house for proper protection. It is no good having only one detector downstairs where you might not hear it if you are upstairs asleep. There should be at least two detecotrs in the house, and preferably more. If you only have two detectors, then one should be placed in the hallway downstairs, and the ohter one on the landing upstairs. Remember they are smoke detectors not heat detectors, and as smoke ises they need to be fitted high up on the ceiling, not on the wall if at all possible. The smoke detectors on the upstairs landing should include a built in high powered light so that you can see your way in the dark through the smoke should there be a fire. Placing them on the landing and hallway balances the need for quick detection with the need to monitor several areas - place them in just one room and chances are they will not be heard by you if they go off at night. If you have more detecotrs, then ideally you should fit them in high risk areas - children's bedrooms and a kitchen one (which should have a silencer which will temporarily disable them while you are cooking). It is also a good idea to protect the lounge as this is usually at most risk of electrical fires due to most of your electrical equipment being here. Remember that most smoke detectors need their batteries changing every year, even if the low battery warning is not yet sounding, this will ensure maximum protection. Detectors in areas such as landing will be processing a lot of air and thus may need changing more often. Don't wait for a low battery warning to assume the batteries need ch
                          anging - test each alarm once a week to ensure the battery is strong and the alarm working well. And remember, once the battery alarm starts beeping - replace immediately - don't put it off for a few weeks, and DEFINITELY do not disable the alarm because the warning is annoying you - you might be disabling it on the very night you need it. Smoke detectors are now cheaper than they have ever been, and really can save your life - make sure you have plenty of them NOW!

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                            17.03.2001 03:39
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                            Don`t get me wrong I`m all for smoke detectors.They are a must have in every single home.If you don`t have one the first time you`ll know of a fire is when you start choking to death, and it`s too late to do anything. What I`m having a moan about is council houses, or rather the workers who fit them out.Have none of them got any common sense?Every council house I`ve lived in has had a smoke alarm, but always in the wrong place.They either fit them in the kitchen or right outside the kitchen.So of course they are going to go off every five minutes.The one in our first house was the worst.It went off every time the kettle boiled, and every time the grill had been on longer than 5 minutes.We also had one that had been fitted right above the main heater in the hallway.This didn`t cause any problems until winter, when as soon as the air got hot above the heater it went off.This strikes me as very strange as they are supposed to be called smoke detectors not heat detectors. My point is, not only make sure you`ve got one, but think very carefully about where you are going to put it.I`ve had to reposition quite a few over the years.

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                            16.03.2001 04:04
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                            90% of fire deaths happen in homes without WORKING firealarms. Every home should have a fire alarm. It should be mandatory. If a fire starts in your home at night, the chances are it will be out of hand before you even wake. Most deaths occur through smoke inhalation, a smoke alarm virtually stops this altogether. The only way to get out alive is to get out early. Make sure your family has an escape plan, ensure that your children know what to do and where to go if they find a fire. Tell your child, especially young children that they must never try and hide from fire in wardrobes or cupboards. Make sure your smoke detector is in good working order. Have one on every floor of your home, test it once a month and replace batteries regularly. Make sure that it is loud enough to wake you from sleep, and that your children know what the sound means. This is such an important message. If you do not have a smoke alarm, go out and buy one TODAY! They are not expencive, they can cost as little as £4 or £5, and they can save your life and the lives of your family. With forward planning, discussion and a little common sense, we can reduce injury and death caused by house fires.

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                              22.01.2001 19:30
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                              I have one great fear in life and that is of FIRE. It's not only the greatest destroyer of possessions but also the taker of life itself. Therefore I wish to share with you the plans I have to greatly reduce the destruction of My precious family should a fire occur in our home. Each time I move House I spend the first few days meticulously working out a plan of action and this is it...... Firstly the fitting of smoke detectors is essential.I have three,one being at the bottom of the stairs next to the lounge,one at the top of the stairs and one more recently being fitted in our loft conversion,this being My eldest son's bedroom. These cost Me a fiver each and are greatly relied upon to save our lives. Always use good make longlife batteries as cheaper ones just cant be relied upon. The detectors I have bleep on and off for about two days to alert Me to the fact that the batteries are running low and need replacing. Should a fire occur these smoke detectors let out a loud high pitched noise at the first sign of smoke,buying you vital time to enable us to escape to safety. A good tip to test to see if the sound is loud enough,is to burn some toast under the grill,then go to the highest point in the house and see if you can hear it clearly. They are lifesavers and every home should have one. Next how will I get My family out once the detectors have gone off? This needs to be disscussed with the whole family,when everyone is in a calm relaxed mood. No point in trying to explain a plan if full attention is not being achieved. I take My children to their bedrooms to talk about exactly what they need to do if a fire breaks out,leaving them trapped upstairs. They need to know how to protect themselves until help arrives. If it is not safe to come out of their bedrooms,they are to shut the door and place a quilt as tightly as possible at the bottom of the door to stop sm
                              oke coming into the room. As we all know smoke is just as bigger killer as the fire itself. If the smoke is coming in,move away from the door and lie down as close as possible to the floor,where they will be able to breath easier. If there is no smoke stay by the window watching out for help as it will be on its way. If they feel afraid give each other a cuddle,try to keep calm and always remember Mummy will be on Her way to rescue them. They have a torch in their bedrooms in case the lights go out,most children are afraid of the dark at the best of times. Stressed is never open the door until they hear someone telling them to do so. I have a telephone in My bedroom,I never use it but its there just in case we do all get trapped upstairs. I also keep a hammer under My bed specifically for enabling Me to break the glass in the window if that is our only means of escape. Apparently the fire brigade hate upvc double glazed windows,as they are very hard to break. But I am sure that if afraid enough I could hammer My way through anything.!! I was a little worried about the loft conversion when it was being planned,so the whole area including the door,floor and walls have been built using fire proof materials.At least now I know that My son should have at least half an hour of safety until help arrives. If a fire broke out in the day,My children have been told exactly what to do. If it is safe to do so,they are to pick up the telephone,dial 999,ask for the fire brigade,tell them our address then get out to safety. They have been told never to go back for things such as toys as these can be bought again,but that they themselves are precious and irreplaceable. Of course children also need to be made aware of some of the things that cause fire to happen.Things like dont play with lighters,matches or the fire. Not to leave plugs in unless absolutely neccessary. And also that you should cl
                              ose all doors at bedtime,to stop a fire spreading from room to room. My ex-husband used to say it was stupid to talk to the children about what to do if a fire did start.He said it was to frightening for them. I totally disagree with this.They are more likely to panick if they have no idea what to do. It is of course human nature for anyone to be panick stricken if in a situation like this but if they can remember what Mum has said it might make them a little bit calmer and in control of the situation.It could also save their lives. I strongly believe that children need to be aware of what to do if a fire does occur especially at nightime. Or do you believe it would be to frightening for a child? I would love to hear other people's opinions on this subject.

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                                20.11.2000 01:57
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                                One "MUST HAVE" item for the home just has to be a smoke alarm but I wouldn't waste your money on the cheapest one you can find as they are not as reliable as they should be. You could always try your local fire station for advice. I live in a terraced council house and I put my smoke alarm at the bottom of the stairs, working on the principle that the most likely place for a fire would be the kitchen or living room, for obvious reasons. Then one day our local fire service knocked on my door and the fireman asked me if I had a smoke alarm. I pointed up to the ceiling and he said yes that was fine and tested it and it worked, but he said that he was there to fit another one free of charge. He recommended that it be placed at the top of the stairs on the small landing which would cover all bedrooms and bathroom and fitted it. I could hardly say no to such an offer. The alarm that he installed was a sealed unit with the battery guaranteed to work for ten years so there is no need for me to worry about the battery running out, except after ten years. But he told me that they would be back with a replacement in ten years time. However a smoke alarm won't stop a fire from starting and you can minimise the risk by taking a few precautions. The most obvious place for a fire is where there is a flame, like a gas fire or the gas cooker and in the kitchen the chip pan is the major culprit. Unless you have one of those special sealed chip fryers, get an ordinary chip pan which HAS A LID. Once the chips are done and served put the lid on. It only takes a couple of seconds. If you have forgotten to turn the gas or electric off it will delay the start of a chip pan fire and could even prevent it. BUT if you go into the kitchen and you notice that you haven't turned the gas off under the chip pan, DO NOT LIFT THE LID TO SEE IF THE FAT HAS BURNED. Just turn off the gas and DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT TOUCHING THE CHIP
                                PAN FOR AT LEAST FOUR HOURS, PREFERABLY LONGER. DO NOT LIFT THE LID UNTIL YOU CAN TOUCH THE SIDES WITHOUT GETTING BURNED. Putting a wet towel over the chip pan won't speed up the cooling. It will dry the towel which may then catch fire. Although I smoke, I only do so in the living room and in any case I make sure that I always chaperone my fag ends. I don't let them go out on their own. I never empty an ashtray into the waste basket by my computer before going to bed, because I could have just stubbed a fag out and there could still be a bit of a glow if I didn't do it properly and I probably wouldn't see it. I also put the glass ashtray on the table where it can't fall off. Metal ashtrays transmit heat. Oh! And ashtrays are for fag ash, and butts only. Not toffee papers and the like. Then my thoughts turned to what else I could do to minimise the risk of a fire breaking out. After chip pans, electric plugs are one of the main causes of domestic fires and it is usually because of one of two reasons. Overloading a socket with one of those two or three way adaptors or the wires coming loose inside the plug. If you need to supply more than one appliance from a single socket DON'T GET ONE OF THOSE ADAPTORS. Instead buy an extension lead with a four way socket on the end. It costs a bit more but it is umpteen times safer. Once a year inspect each and every plug in the house to make sure that the wire is properly connected and held in the wire grip correctly. You'll be surprised to learn that no matter how tightly you tightened the screw holding a wire in place, over time the natural vibrations in a house from passing traffic, slamming doors etc. can loosen the screws. If you find a plug with loose leads fix it then. Tomorrow never comes. Many a time I've seen a plug with the wire pulled out so that the outer sheath is not being gripped but the wires inside are chaffing on the edge of the plug.
                                Not mine I hasten to add. Whilst you're making your plug inspection check that each plug has the correct rated fuse in it. In most case you only need a 3 amp fuse. Your iron may need a 5 amp fuse and things like the washer, dryer, dish washer, electric fire and any 4 way extension lead would need a 13 amp fuse. If you don't know how to wire a plug then learn how to do it from someone who really knows their stuff. Don't just learn but practice with an old bit of cable and a plug until you are proficient at it. Buy yourself a suitable screw driver and put it in the kitchen drawer with a packet or two of spare fuses. It is much better than messing about with scissors or knives or nail files. If you blow a fuse and you don't happen to have a spare, NEVER EVER bridge the fuse with silver foil or a piece of bare wire. Go and find an appliance that you know you won't use for a day or two and take that fuse if it is the right rating. Then get a pack of spares the next time you are at the shop. If a fuse blows and you replace it and it blows again get the appliance checked by a qualified electrician. Don't be tempted to put a larger rated fuse in. That's how fires start. O.K. so you've just put up your Xmas tree and put the fairy lights on but you don't have a spare socket to plug them in. I know I'll put the light's wires in with the telly plug. They're only thin so they should fit O.K. Well they will fit but DON'T DO IT. Give the lights their own plug and unplug the video or something. Don't be tempted to go to bed with the fairy lights left on, even brand new ones. Oh! You did check the wire of the fairy lights before putting them up didn't you? Do you have a set of those lights were if one bulb blows the rest stay on? Check them daily to see if any bulbs have blown and replace them. If you don't another bulb will blow soon after then another and the remaining one
                                s will get hotter and hotter and one could set fire to the tree. They are wired in series so that a string of twenty uses the 240 volts mains across all of them which means that each bulb takes 12 volts. If one blows the remaining 19 still take the 240 volts between them, that is 12.6 volts each. But if two blow each remaining bulb is taking 13.3 volts and if three blow then each of the remaining 17 bulbs are taking 14.1 volts and they will be hot enough to burn your finger. NEVER run wires under a carpet where people will walk over it. Eventually the wire will chafe and the bare wires will short out and could cause a fire. However if you have the correct fuse in the plug it will blow so a fire may not start. So your alarm goes off and you can't get down the stairs. If you can have the presence of mind, get everyone into the one bedroom which is furthest away from the fire. That is if the fire is at the back use a front bedroom. Close the door and put a blanket at the bottom to keep out the smoke while you make your escape. How? Well it may seem like a long way down from the bedroom of a normal house but if an adult hangs from the window sill his feet are only about four feet from the floor. If the window doesn't open enough then smash it with care, knock out all the remaining jagged pieces and fold a blanket over the bottom bit as added protection. Chuck out a mattress so that it lands near the wall. If there are kids and two adults, one adult lowers themselves out of the window and drops down. They might twist an ankle but that is probably all. The other adult using sheets lowers the kids down one at a time. They will have to drop the last foot or two but then mum will be there to steady them. Then the last adult makes their escape. O.K. It may sound simple on paper but just think about it and you will realise that it isn't as difficult as you first imagined, if you don't panic that is. O.K. I accept tha
                                t a physically disabled person would have a problem as would your 87 year old granny and I don't have an answer for that except possibly make a bedroom for them downstairs. How do I know all these things? Well I was an electrician before I retired and one day I hadn't turned the gas off fully but I had put the lid on my chip pan. The warmth in the kitchen told me a burner was on and it didn't take the brains of Einstein to work out which burner it was. The escape I worked out for myself and without actually smashing the window I tried dropping out of my bedroom window. Didn't even scrape my hands on the wall and I'm only five feet seven inches tall.

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