Fire safety. Out of date smoke alarms.

Joshua Slocum

LE
Book Reviewer
#21
The law only requires them to install detectors and ensure they work.

Sch 4, Housing Act 2004.
Yes thats so, but the law would surely ask that you respect the manufacturers information for replacement and safe disposal
Car tyres have a date on them, lots of people dont replace them in time
but one or two have found out the hard way, especially when an insurance company gets involved
 

Joshua Slocum

LE
Book Reviewer
#22
I meant to add, that as an electrician I replace quite a few every year in rented properties, often picked up on an inspection, its quite funny when you see a smug estate agents face telling you not to bother it works, then you point to the disposal date, and thats before I have checked the electrical system
they can be offset it against tax, and if they dont know they need replacing then they ought to wake up and let some one else do the work
 

Joshua Slocum

LE
Book Reviewer
#23
#24
Yes thats so, but the law would surely ask that you respect the manufacturers information for replacement and safe disposal
Car tyres have a date on them, lots of people dont replace them in time
but one or two have found out the hard way, especially when an insurance company gets involved
You’d expect it, but it’s not proscribed. The legislation is what it is.
 

AlienFTM

MIA
Book Reviewer
#25
The main safety point with these domestic alarms is to realise that pressing the test button only tests that the sounder works, not the detector circuits or sensor. To test this you need to actually introduce smoke into the device.
At IBM Hursley, engineers would walk round the site with something like a six foot toilet plunger, I think annually. Place the working end over each smoke alarm in turn (presumably creating a modicum of air seal), activate the device, (presumably doing just what you say) without activating the audible alarm (which was a separate, proper alarm, all devices in one block would all go off as one if one did. They were tested separately every Friday afternoon, which served to remind everyone that it was POETS day)

Worked fine there for two decades I was there. I'm sure it isn't beyond the wit of these people.
 
Last edited:
#26
Every quarter I've lived in as a pad, I've put up my own smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. There was absolutely no way, I was going to trust the safety of my family with issue shite. Except on week 4 of every month, when I had drank all my money, like an alky piece of scum, and they lived off compo for a week. (The compo bit is a lie) (it was week 2!!)
 
#27
Copy in all emails that you have with them to the relevant bloke/woman at your local fire brigade.
My bet is that a bloke/woman will turn up within the week to change them.
 

Joshua Slocum

LE
Book Reviewer
#29
You’d expect it, but it’s not proscribed. The legislation is what it is.
as my grandad used to say Common sense aint so common
and when you are dealing with a large organization that oversees property, they have an eye on the bottom line
whats the minimum they can get away with, to spend the rest on company cars, big offices, branding and social dos

I once visited a large site oop North
I tested the fire alarm and it sort of worked, needed new batteries, they were 20 years old ?
did a few repairs and got the system working properly
and yet it had a book showing it had been tested once a week ?
my mate dougie did the extinguishers, he called me over, not one of the 40 or so water filled extinguishers had a CO2 bottle fitted
one of the tesst used to be to empty the water out and check for corrosion or damage to the liner, its a pressurised vessel when in use
the other is to remove and weigh the cylinder and check it for corrosion ( its all beyond me I Just used to help cart stuff around)
so for however many years some one had been refilling them with fresh water, but had thrown away the cylinders and forgotten to replace them
the boss bloke did not believe us, so I said have you ever tested an extinguisher ?
no they dont need to be tested
so we tested lots more
not many worked, and those that did were not very efficient
but boxes had been ticked, and as he pointed out money had been saved ?
 

Joshua Slocum

LE
Book Reviewer
#30
At IBM Hursley, engineers would walk round the site with something like a six foot toilet plunger, I think annually. Place the working end over each smoke alarm in turn (presumably creating a modicum of air seal), activate the device, (presumably doing just what you say) without activating the audible alarm (which was a separate, proper alarm, all devices in one block would all go off as one if one did. They were tested separately every Friday afternoon, which served to remind everyone that it was POETS day)

Worked fine there for two decades I was there. I'm sure it isn't beyond the wit of these people.
Yes most of the modern control panels have a test mode, you set a zone into test, and instead of ringing the bells it lights the LED up on the sensor, and sometimes you have a handheld radio link that beeps, or you have a mate on the control panel with a 2 way radio
thats the correct way to test them, plus if there are two of you, you can identify the area correctly in case of incorrect labelling
when I first started out we used a burning taper !!!
but then we also stripped and cleaned and calibrated the detectors, you had to fill a form in with the amount of detectors you had cleaned, and properly dispose of the waste cotton buds and wipes, we also used lots of meths and Vaseline ( cue odd looks from the chemist) Amercium 241
At one Hospital I worked in, one of the radio rentals slipped in behind me when I was getting stuff out of the car, seems he reached round as I looked left at a plump nurse, and nicked 3 litres of meths !
Surprised t didnt kill him and his mates
after that I bought a 5 litre bottle and decanted it into . 5 litre bottles
1521499985524.png
 
#31
as my grandad used to say Common sense aint so common
and when you are dealing with a large organization that oversees property, they have an eye on the bottom line
whats the minimum they can get away with, to spend the rest on company cars, big offices, branding and social dos

I once visited a large site oop North
I tested the fire alarm and it sort of worked, needed new batteries, they were 20 years old ?
did a few repairs and got the system working properly
and yet it had a book showing it had been tested once a week ?
my mate dougie did the extinguishers, he called me over, not one of the 40 or so water filled extinguishers had a CO2 bottle fitted
one of the tesst used to be to empty the water out and check for corrosion or damage to the liner, its a pressurised vessel when in use
the other is to remove and weigh the cylinder and check it for corrosion ( its all beyond me I Just used to help cart stuff around)
so for however many years some one had been refilling them with fresh water, but had thrown away the cylinders and forgotten to replace them
the boss bloke did not believe us, so I said have you ever tested an extinguisher ?
no they dont need to be tested
so we tested lots more
not many worked, and those that did were not very efficient
but boxes had been ticked, and as he pointed out money had been saved ?
All the ticked boxes and reports do not prove a thing.
 

Joshua Slocum

LE
Book Reviewer
#33
All the ticked boxes and reports do not prove a thing.
but some people think differently and interpret the rules to their advantage
Alpha Males are the worst for that
I used to work with one called slippery
he lost his ( very well paid) job when he was finally caught out putting lives at risk
but i can see the managements point as well, some people just moan and winge about everything
its difficult I must admit
I oftne have to make decisions about electrical systems where client shave had a go
So I always think it through carefully and check the regs, then I write down my decisions and how I arrived at it
I keep a copy and the client likewise
that way if anything goes wrong ( they fail to keep theri part of the bargain) I can at least prove my actions were to the best of my knowledge at the time ( EICRs)
 
#36
So, an absolute minimum of two alarms and a CO detector all linked, wonder who will be paying for that.
I live in England, so obviously me.

Knock knock.
Who's there?
Smoke alarm inspector.
We're in the bath come back later.
 

AlienFTM

MIA
Book Reviewer
#37
Yes most of the modern control panels have a test mode, you set a zone into test, and instead of ringing the bells it lights the LED up on the sensor, and sometimes you have a handheld radio link that beeps, or you have a mate on the control panel with a 2 way radio
thats the correct way to test them, plus if there are two of you, you can identify the area correctly in case of incorrect labelling
when I first started out we used a burning taper !!!
but then we also stripped and cleaned and calibrated the detectors, you had to fill a form in with the amount of detectors you had cleaned, and properly dispose of the waste cotton buds and wipes, we also used lots of meths and Vaseline ( cue odd looks from the chemist) Amercium 241
At one Hospital I worked in, one of the radio rentals slipped in behind me when I was getting stuff out of the car, seems he reached round as I looked left at a plump nurse, and nicked 3 litres of meths !
Surprised t didnt kill him and his mates
after that I bought a 5 litre bottle and decanted it into . 5 litre bottles
View attachment 327146
That looks like the badger.
 
#38
All the ticked boxes and reports do not prove a thing.
We let our house in the Lake District as a holiday-let, with annual rentals exceeding over 40 weeks pa. In 2011 we had to undertake a Home Office Fire Risk Assessment for the property, looking at sources of ignition, sources of fuel, means of escape and risk mitigation on each floor (it's a 4 storied property).

Additionally I produced a fire equipment check sheet. Each month our property manager is supposed to check location and PTT each of the smoke detectors and 2 x CO detectors, and ensure the fire extinguishers are still charged and so on. I've had to pull her up twice on not conducting monthly checks, and in December found out that one of the CO detectors was unserviceable - the battery had decayed and I had to replace the unit. The PM is on her last warning. The check list also states the replacement month/year for each of the sensors (and I have affixed dymo labels to each of the devices). Looking at the updated spreadsheet, three sensors need replacing this year and I am sufficiently flush to have mains-powered and wifi connected sensors (ie if one sounds, they all sound).

Both the Fire Risk assessment and the monthly check sheet are in the Guests Information Folder, along with the basic fire bill.
 

Joshua Slocum

LE
Book Reviewer
#40
I visited a new client yesterday, just a small job, an hours work, whilst there I looked up at the fitted smoke detectors and unlike the decoration they were yellowing
I popped one down to check it, the replaceable battery was dead as a dodo as was the one in the linked upstairs detector
I gave it to the client to check with the manufacture when it was due for replacement ( I already had a rough idea)
8 years ago it should have been replaced
the house was built in 2000 and they were 2000 issue heads
so tomorrow I am visiting and replacing them with AICO units that have a service life of ten years with sealed Lithium batteries fitted
only 3 quid more then the ones where you need to change the battery every years !!! so in 2 years the difference is covered
they have loved there for 8 years and never replaced the batteries
there are about 40 more houses on the estate all built at the same time, so I might bung a flyer round
New units have a disposal/destruction date stamped on the outside, the old BRK units need to be removed, then part of the cover taken off to find the date, after turning the power off
frightening that these things are forgotten for so long
 

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