Finally, fire and carbon monoxide protection for kitchens combined in just one alarm

The kitchen is one of the most dangerous rooms in a household, as cooking appliances are one of the most likely causes of accidental house fires. To detect a fire in a kitchen, heat alarms are usually installed. The kitchen, however, also contains a less well-known risk, carbon monoxide (or CO). Gas boilers are often located in the kitchen, alongside gas cookers and ovens, creating potential sources of carbon monoxide, this poisonous gas is a by-product of fossil fuels such as gas being burned. As this gas cannot be seen, smelled or tasted, a carbon monoxide alarm is the only way of detecting it, giving a loud warning sound if CO is detected.

Ei Electronics has now launched an excellent solution; a detector that deals with both risks in one unit. The Ei3028 combined heat and carbon monoxide detector can detects both of these potential dangers, warning occupants in the event of a fire or a CO leak in the kitchen.

Instead of having to install two separate alarms (a CO and a heat alarm), with the associated costs of an electrician and wiring, just one alarm needs to be installed. This gives a cost saving and also is more aesthetically pleasing as there is only one alarm on your ceiling.

This unique combined mains powered heat and CO alarm is fitted with a 10 year rechargeable lithium back-up battery, so will never require the replacement of batteries during its 10 year life. It features two different alarm sounds depending on which sensor has been triggered.

The Ei3028 alarm is part of a product family that covers all the risks in your house or flat. The range includes smoke, heat, carbon monoxide and combined smoke and heat detectors, all of which are compatible with previous models of Ei ranges. The SmartLINK module is also available which allows for hybrid interlinking (radio or hardwired) of up to 12 compatible devices.

Please visit our product pages for further information:

Or contact our friendly customer care team on freephone 0800 612 6537 or via support@safelincs.co.uk

Connor Storr

Connor Storr

Product Administrator

Connor is one of our product administrators. He has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to smoke alarms, and fire extinguisher products.

It’s that time of year again…

Fire KillsThe clocks go back on Saturday 25th October and the Government’s Fire Kills campaign is once again reminding people to test their smoke alarms at the same time.

As well as running a high profile campaign each time the clocks change, Fire Kills uses social media to promote monthly humorous videos featuring unusual ways for testing smoke alarms. These have included use of a skateboard, a remote controlled helicopter and a human pyramid!

Those people wishing to test their smoke alarms regularly can take advantage of Safelincs free smoke alarm reminder service and set their own pattern for having their memories jogged. We’ll send a reminder email at a frequency set by you.

Smoke alarm ownership increased rapidly from 8% in 1988 to 70% in 1994 in England, and has continued to rise and it’s now over 88%. However, it’s crucial that they are tested regularly and the batteries changed each year (unless the smoke alarm is a ten year alarm with a sealed-in battery).

After ten years a smoke alarm should be replaced. (Anyone with an Ei mains alarm can replace just the sensor unit using the easichange product. No electrician required.)

Kidde releases the UK’s first combined optical smoke and carbon monoxide detector – The Kidde 10DS.

kidde-10sco-smoke-and-carbon-monoxide-detectorKidde Safety, one of the leading manufacturers of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, has recently released the UK’s first combined optical smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector. The new alarm, which is powered by a single 9V battery instead of the usual 3 x AA cells, carries a 10 year warranty and features an ‘end-of-life’ warning to alert the user that the alarm has reached the end of its operating life.
Kidde have included several simple but clever features with the 10DS, such as a front mounted battery compartment which allows the battery to be replaced without removing the alarm and dual voice warnings of either ‘FIRE! FIRE!’ or ‘WARNING! CARBON MONOXIDE’ depending on the danger detected.
The Kidde 10DS is also the first combined unit to be kitemarked for both the optical sensor and carbon monoxide sensor separately. Add in the test/reset/hush feature and the peak level memory function and you end up with a great all round alarm suitable for use in homes, holiday chalets, caravans and even boats, saving space and potentially lives.

Landlords use Safelincs’ free reminder service to help maintain smoke alarms in good order

Landlords frequently install main smoke alarm systems to BS5839 part 6 grade D in their premises. These smoke alarms should be regularly tested to ensure that they are in good working condition. Visiting the tenant regularly is not really an option, so how can you ensure the tenant is testing the alarm? The solution is easy – When purchasing smoke alarms from Safelincs, the buyer can ask for emailed or texted reminders to be send to a chosen email address or mobile number. Just choose your preferred frequency of reminder and Safelincs will take care of the rest. This service and how the tenant should act on receipt of a reminder should then be mentioned in the tenancy agreement.

You can even register for this service without buying smoke alarms. Just register for free on our reminder page

Batteries in smoke alarm could have saved lives of father and daughter

A 33 year old man and his six year old daughter died due to a chip pan fire in a house that had a smoke alarm fitted but had no batteries in it.

In April this year the bodies of Mr Andrew Lineton and Kay-Leigh, his six year old daughter, were discovered in their home in Telford.  An inquest in to their deaths concluded that an unattended chip pan had caught fire in the kitchen. The smoke alarm that was fitted did not have any batteries in it and therefore no warning of the fire was given.

The chip pan fire burnt itself out and the deaths were caused due to carbon monoxide poisoning. As carbon monoxide causes drowsiness and leads to unconsciousness Mr Lineton and his daughter were unaware of the fire and unable to evacuate the house.

These tragic deaths could have been prevented. Ensure that you have a working smoke alarm fitted and that you test it regularly. Never remove batteries from an alarm, even if it is sending out an annoying chirp to alert you of the need to replace batteries. Only remove the batteries when you have fresh ones to replace them with.

To read the full story: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-shropshire-15204778

 

Overview about radio-interlinked smoke alarms

For several years Safelincs has been offering Ei Electronics’ radio-interlinked smoke alarm ranges. Occasionally, we receive requests for a more detailed overview about how the radio-linked smoke alarms are grouped, as there are quite a few different models. Here a brief overview of the different products available:

Radio-interlinked smoke alarms (Ei calls them RadioLINK smoke alarms) can be grouped into battery operated and mains powered models. Both the battery operated smoke alarm series Ei3100RF and Ei600  as well as the mains powered ranges of the Ei140, Ei160 and Ei2110 series offer wireless connection between smoke and heat detectors. The Ei140, 160 and Ei2110 series require a RadioLINK base unit (provided by Safelincs when you order these units) to radio-link the alarms while the battery operated units have the RF (radio frequency) module already integrated into the actual smoke alarm.

The purpose of radio-interlinked alarms is to ensure that when a smoke alarm detects a fire in one part of the building it notifies all the other alarms in the house per radio signal, triggering them to activate their sounders as well, hence notifying the occupiers of the building accross the entire building – and without the need for interconnecting cables.

The RadioLINK technology deployed by Ei Electronics is split into two categories:

1) Basic RadioLINK interconnection (models Ei3100RF as well as Ei140 with radio base): If one alarm goes off, all alarms go off. There is also the possibility to test the alarms with a remote test device and to use manual break points connected also with radio-interlink. However, the customer cannot for example silence or locate sounding alarms remotely. One alarm in such a system can act as a repeater to increase the reach of the network.

2) As above but with Remote Control Functionality (models Ei600 as well as Ei160 and Ei2110 with radio-base). Remote Control Functionality offers the possibility to remote test, hush and locate the alarms. Each smoke alarm unit can also act as a repeater, allowing these systems to cover larger buildings.

All of the above units can be ‘housecoded’, meaning that the smoke alarms will only communicate with alarms from the same group and not with your neighbour’s system. This is achieved through simple housecoding of the units when you install the alarms.

Where is the power-supply coming from?

The radioLINK units have different sources of power-supply:

Ei3100RF series: 9V block batteries, which need to be changed every year

Ei600 series: Sealed longlife batteries which will last the full ten year life of the smoke alarms

Ei140 series: Mains powered (usually from nearest light fitting) plus a 9V block battery as backup. Again, the 9V battery should be replaced every year.

Ei160 series  and Ei2110: Mains powered (usually from nearest light fitting) plus a re-chargeable, longlife lithum battery which will last the full ten year life of the smoke alarm.

 

20th – 26th June 2011, Child Safety Week

This Year’s Child Safety Week is looking at preventing accidents, with its ‘Take a second look for safety’ campaign. The Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT) are encouraging everyone with children or looking after children to take a second look at their environment to ensure that the children are safe.

Accidents can, to a great extent, be prevented but despite this, accidents remain one of the biggest causes of death in children in the UK.

It does not take long to take a second look around the house to see if there are any measures that can be put into place to prevent a child having an accident. This can range from ensuring that stair gates are closed to securing the garden and can also include checking that all smoke alarms are in good working order.

Many people lead busy lives and without being reminded of these small things we would forget. If you need help with remembering to check that your smoke alarm is working or when you should change the battery in the alarm, you can register with our free smoke alarm reminder service. We will then send you a text or e-mail to alert you that the check is due. You control what check you would like to be reminded about and how often we should remind you. There is no  charge for this service, but it could save your life.

‘Take a second look’ and check that you know how you would get out of the building in case of a fire. Is there a second escape route should the main exit be blocked by fire. Check if you are able to exit through an upstairs window should the stairs be involved in the fire, do you need a fire escape ladder to aid your exit? Ensure that your children know what they should do if they wake to smell smoke or see flames. Go through these points with them and even practice the escape routine.

‘Take a second look’ to see if there are any hazards that you could reduce to prevent a fire from happening in the first place. Check your plug sockets and ensure that they are not overloaded. Are all cables to electrical equipment in good working order. Make sure that tea-towels do not hang too close to the cooker or that pans are never left to boil dry.

Make all your ‘Take a second look for safety’ activities fun and include the children. We have developed a fire safety information and activity sheet for you to down load.

Have fun with your children looking for dangers and then talking about how to prevent accidents from happening. Get your children to tell you if they see something that they think is dangerous. Children are looking at the world from a different height perspective and they may see something that an adult would miss.

We want to help you keep your children safe. If you purchase any fire safety goods or a carbon monoxide alarm from us we will give you 10% off your order during Child Safety Week.

To claim your discount, visit our website and quote CSWB at checkout to receive 10% off your order.

Why should smoke alarms be replaced after ten years?

In 1992, the Building Regulations were amended requiring every new build to allow for mains-wired, interconnected smoke alarms to be installed. With many alarms installed under this Regulation still in use and potentially approaching their twentieth year, it was necessary to research a recommendation as to when mains powered smoke alarms should be replaced.

Current recommendations

  1. The majority of research found on this subject emanates from the US. The US National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) have issued NFPA Standard 72, National Fire Alarm and Signalling Code (2010 edition), which states:
    1. “Replace all smoke alarms, including those that use ten-year batteries and hard-wired alarms, when they are ten years old or sooner if they don’t respond properly when tested.”
  2. US fire safety websites, along with those in the UK, Canada, New Zealand and Australia, tend to recommend the replacement of domestic smoke alarms, whether battery or mains-wired, when they:
    • Fail to respond to tests
    • Are ten years old (varying between date of installation and manufacture)

Why Replace Alarms?

Several reasons are provided to justify the replacement of smoke alarms after ten years.

  1. The Minnesota Department of Public Safety cite a nationwide study undertaken by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), which states that 97% of smoke alarms should still be functioning after one year, if supplied with power. After ten years it is 73%, whereas after 20 years, this figure stands at 54%. The study also indicated that 60% of the failures were due to flat or removed batteries or a disconnected power supply and the study offered possible reasons for this. Ageing alarms may experience sensitivity drifting, which may, in turn, result in an increased frequency of accidental activation and an increase in people removing the power supply It was thought that newer alarms with a ‘hush’ feature may contribute to remedying this
  2. An NFPA report cites a study undertaken by Canada’s Ontario Housing Corporation supporting the fact that 3% of smoke alarms will fail within one year. They also say that after 30 years, nearly all the alarms will have failed. They conclude that replacement after ten years, with roughly a 30% probability of failure, is an appropriate balance between safety and cost
  3. The South Australian Metropolitan Fire Service state that smoke alarm technology has improved significantly since legislation was introduced (similar requirements to the 1992 UK ones were introduced in Australia in 1995) and replacing old smoke alarms is an ideal opportunity to upgrade smoke alarm systems. The Australian Standard for smoke alarms (AS 3786) specifies an effective life of 10 years, suggesting that after that time effectiveness may be compromised with accumulated dust, insects, airborne contaminants and corrosion of electrical circuitry
  4. In the early 1990s, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission undertook an extensive study, called the National Smoke Detector Project, to examine smoke alarm ownership and operability. Some failures were found in smoke alarms, but there were no large or systematic problems identified with detector designs or manufacturing practices that cast any doubt on their long term reliability. However, a variety of component failures, corroded battery clips and deterioration and corrosion of the horn element contacts were found in a few smoke alarms
  5. Other reports from New Zealand and Canada looked at operability of battery smoke alarms, but no further reports on the operability and longevity of mains-wired smoke alarms could be found

Testing Smoke Alarms

  1. It should be noted that the regular testing of smoke alarms should help identify inoperability as testing a smoke alarm simulates smoke and does not simply test the power supply. This would indicate smoke alarm maintenance messages remain a priority. However, it was queried whether all smoke alarm test functions operate in this way, or whether some simply do test power supply, be it battery or mains-wired
  2. The general view from UK based smoke alarm manufacturers reflects the findings elsewhere. With contaminants such as dust, insects, grease and nicotine, the smoke alarm chamber is susceptible to becoming excessively sensitive or insensitive. This may lead to either an increase in nuisance false alarms, or to eventually becoming unable to detect smoke. One manufacturer reports that contamination is extremely variable, but that field experience indicated that 10 years is a reasonable compromise

Conclusion

  1. Evidence of smoke alarm longevity appears to be scarce and inconclusive. As with other electronic items, there will be failures in the units when they are produced and failures during their lifetime due to individual component faults. Similarly, as they get older more faults are likely to occur. Problems specific to smoke detectors include increased sensitivity
  2. In all the work identified so far, none has specifically concentrated on the failure of smoke alarms when they age. Smoke alarms do fail but the rate at which they do has not been accurately determined or related to their age.
  3. Despite there not being much research, it does seem appropriate to replace smoke alarms after ten years (in line with manufacturers advice), unless individual alarm testing suggests earlier replacement.

Mains-wired interconnected alarms – Replacement kits

  1. Safelincs has developed products designed to help facilitate the process of replacing the smoke detector heads for mains-wired interconnected smoke alarms

FireKills Advertisement Receives Award

Last year’s FireKills campaign has received a Yellow Pencil award by D&AD. The campaign was used to depict the effect of smoke and compared this to drowning.

FireKills is a governmental fire safety promotion campaign in which Safelincs Ltd is stakeholder. The short film created for last year’s campaign is very hard hitting and shows a couple asleep in a bed underwater. The voiceover of the film makes the comparison to toxic smoke by stating that you only need two or three breaths to be rendered unconscious.

Safelincs would like to congratulate all at FireKills on this prestigious award. View the short film

Man Saved From Home Fire by Neighbour

A 49 year old man, Mr Kennedy,  was rescued from a fire at his home by his neighbour. The fire started as a result of Mr Kennedy starting to cook his dinner but falling asleep whilst the meal was cooking.

The fire had already spread so much that the neighbour, Mr Hudson, was unable to enter the premises. Mr Hudson raised the alarm with the fire brigade and shouted up to the window for Mr Kennedy to wake up.

As a result of the neighbour’s actions Mr Hudson was able to escape the fire, but unfortunately his pet dog died in the blaze.

The blaze could have been prevented had Mr Hudson not left the cooker unattended or if a stove alarm would have been fitted.

Read the full story