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When it comes to things we don’t give much thought about, a fire alarm is certainly top of the list. House fires cause over 200 deaths every year in the UK. Most of these deaths happen when we are asleep and oblivious to what’s happening around us. Believe it or not, we can’t sleep and take note of smells at the same time. At least, not enough to wake us up.

fire alarm in Smokey room

Facts and Figures: Fire Alarms UK 

  • In the UK alone, there are just short of 40,000 house fires per year.
  • Nearly 40% of battery-operated smoke alarms fitted in 2018 did not operate when they needed to due to people not replacing the batteries or having them disconnected completely.
  • A house fire can spread in a matter of minutes, completely consuming everything around it. Acting fast saves lives.
  • Making sure your smoke alarm is in top condition and if it is battery operated, the batteries fully charged, gives you the best chance of survival. Studies show that there is a lower chance of fatalities when your smoke alarm is working properly.
  • According to many sources, you are up to four times more likely to survive a house fire when a smoke alarm is installed.

As you can see, it’s crucial for your smoke alarm to be working at all times as this gives you the best chance of survival should a fire break out.

What Causes Fires?


Most house fires are caused by damage to electrical products such as any wiring that runs through your home. If this has been installed incorrectly, you run the risk of a house fire. Always use a qualified electrician and if you’re unsure, have someone check the wiring in your house. Before going to sleep, ensure you unplug any equipment from the wall when not in use. Not only does this save the environment, but it also reduces the risk of a fire from occurring.

Cooking Appliances

Cooking appliances are also a big reason why fire alarms are triggered. If you have been cooking on the hob, ensure you have fully turned off the appliance before walking away. Not concentrating when using the oven, massively increases the risk of a fire starting.

Smoke Alarms, Which is Best?

There are two types of smoke alarms available, optical and ionisation alarms. Both of these smoke alarms are capable of warning you that something isn’t right, but they function very differently.

Ionisation Alarms

An ionisation alarm works by alerting you of fast-flaming fires such as kitchen fires caused by oil, cooking fats, and anything petrol-related. They can detect smoke particles that cannot be seen.

Optical Alarms

The optical alarm is the one that is found in most homes. It’s triggered by the smoke being reflected in the beam that emanates from the smoke alarm. They can pick up on things that give off lots of smoke such as bedding, wood, or fabric fires.


To keep your home as safe as possible, consider installing both types of smoke alarms. Always make sure that your smoke alarm has a British quality standard seal as this gives you peace of mind that it’s ready to do the job. Be sure to buy multiple alarms as having one downstairs isn’t enough, your smoke alarm needs to be able to monitor any upstairs activity as well.

Always have working batteries in your fire alarm and test it regularly as it could save your life! For more support on your fire alarm contact us or call us directly on 01604 760600 to find out more about your fire alarm and its importance today.