Smoke Alarms and the Importance of them!

Article by Roya Gorjifard

Fire is a chemical reaction that needs three essential elements to happen, called the  “Fire Triangle”.

  • Heat – Ignition source includes everything that produces heat or spark such as heaters, naked flames, smokers’ materials (cigarettes, matches, etc.)
  • Fuel – Burning substances or fuel such as paper, furniture, plastic, loose packing materials, woods, flammable materials, etc.
  • Oxygen  -When the fuel burns, it reacts with the oxygen to release heat and generate combustion.


Actions We Need to Take

To eliminate or reduce the risk of fire either of these three elements must be in control. When these three elements are together a fire may start. In fact fires are mostly preventable by having a proactive plan of adequate behaviours and procedures.

Buildings are required to have an up-to-date fire safety risk assessment. It can be a part of general risk assessment of a building or a work place. The fire risk assessment provides a base for building owners or employers to take adequate measures to eliminate or mitigate the risk of injury or loss of life due to fire.

The key to fire risk assessment is to identify where the three elements of the fire triangle are coming altogether.

To summarise:

  • Convey a fire risk assessment in workplaces/houses or buildings with public access
  • Identify the sources of ignition and burning substances and keep them apart
  • Make sure you avoid accidental fires, like an overturned heater or hot cigar butt on the floor
  • Ensure anadequate number of detection devices such as smoke alarms are installed in appropriate places, and schedule to check them regularly, including their expiry date
  • Ensure adequate fire-fighting equipment are in place and schedule to check them regularly, including their expiry date
  • Plan how to evacuate building quickly in case a fire happens, exit and escape routes must be available in an obvious place or public board
  • If you are an employee make sure that workers are trained appropriately on necessary procedures such as fire drills
  • Make sure good housekeeping is always managed to clean up burnable rubbish

What’s new in Fire Hazard?

Kiwis are being urged to check their smoke alarms haven’t expired, amidst Fire and Emergency New Zealand’s annual appeal for fire safety.

Rental Homes will not receive a Rental Warrant of Fitness unless correctly installed smoke alarms are in place!

When was the last time you checked smoke alarms in your home or workplace? Is your smoke alarm installed in the correct place?

If you need any further assistance, please get in contact with us. Phone 03 929 1403

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