It’s that time of year, when the clocks go forward (on Sunday 29th March), and we’re implored to check the batteries in our smoke detectors.
But you should do more than that - you should check the smoke detectors themselves.
When Aston Lark staff have visited clients, they often come across aged smoke detectors which are simply not going to be as effective as a modern unit. These can be easy to spot as they’ve yellowed with age.
What should I be checking?
- The smoke detector should have a replace-by date, which you can find on the back. If it’s exceeded this date, it should be replaced.
- The smoke detector should have a British Standard Kitemark on it - EN14604:2005 to be exact. The British Standard was devised in 2005, so if there’s no kitemark it’s either pre-2005 or not certified. Neither is very good and it should therefore be replaced.
- Check for dust or cobwebs. Vacuum carefully with a soft brush around the edge of the alarm.
- Check that the battery is actually present and hasn’t been removed.
- Test the alarm, as you should be doing anyway, at least every six months.
If you need to replace your smoke detector, look for one with the British Standard or CE safety mark and even better, buy one with a 10-year sealed battery. These are especially useful when fitting to hard-to-reach ceilings.
For more information on smoke alarms, visit the UK Fire Service website.
To speak to someone about your home insurance, call 020 8712 8076 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.