Last year, the New Zealand Fire Service attended over 3,700 house fires. In over 80% of those fires, smoke alarms were either not installed or not working. Most fire fatalities occur in homes, mainly while people are sleeping when they can’t smell smoke. The Fire Service says that smoke alarms are the best possible defence you and your family have from dying in a fire.
Smoke rises and moves along the ceiling. It will move up stairwells and vertical openings. When it can’t rise anymore it will build up, working its way down again. It’s because of this that it’s important to place smoke alarms on the ceiling to get the earliest warning. If you must position it on the wall put it 100mm away from the ceiling to avoid dead air pockets.
Many homes have battery operated smoke alarms, but are they in the correct place and do they actually work. An alternative to the battery smoke alarms is a 230V smoke alarm – you don’t have batteries to replace. This type of smoke alarm can be linked in chains so that if one alarm goes off then all the alarms in the house go off together.