Tag: ZEN smoke alarms

There is no point waiting until a fire occurs before figuring out what to do and where to go – especially when family members are involved. Having a well developed and rehearsed home fire safety plan will provide loved ones with crucial time to escape, and could certainly mean the difference between life and death. This blog post shows how to develop a home fire safety plan and demonstrates that it needn’t be an onerous task.

Develop a floor plan and identify the emergency exit path

The objective of a home fire safety plan is to provide the occupants of a dwelling sufficient knowledge and skill to escape a burning building in an efficient and timely manner. This is achieved by

a) documenting the required information

b) communicating the information and then;

c) practicing the home fire safety plan.

The first step in developing a home fire safety plan is to draw a basic floor plan / map of your house, including key locations such as each person’s bedroom. Review the floor plan collectively with all occupants of the dwelling – identify both the primary and secondary path of exit so there are two means of escape for each person in the event of a fire. Some things to consider – are there obstacles to negotiate such as large furniture? Are there ‘landmarks’ along the way which could assist if smoke has reduced visibility to zero? Are there people in the home of differing ages, mental acuity or reduced physical mobility? If so it may be worth assigning a specific ‘buddy’ to assist these people. Nominate an agreed muster point where everyone is to gather at a safe distance having evacuated the building.

Practice the home fire safety plan

It’s one thing to talk about it, it’s another thing to actually do it. As the famous Russian playwright Anton Chekhov once said, “Knowledge is of no value unless you put it into practice.” Rehearse the home fire safety plan and physically practice an escape with ALL members of the household, at least bi-annually. During the rehearsal, a mobile phone timer could be used to create a sense of urgency, reduced visibility due to thick smoke can be simulated by placing a blindfold on the occupant and have them attempt to navigate the exit path in a controlled manner. Once outside the building, everyone should assemble at the fire safety plan’s designated muster point and perform an after action review to identify any learnings and/or improvement opportunities. Time taken to escape the building can be recorded and used as a performance benchmark for future rehearsals.

Interconnected smoke alarms and the home fire safety plan

Because ZEN interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms provide greater early warning and response time to a fire, they should be installed within your home and form part of the overall home fire safety plan. Ensure they are installed in every bedroom, communal hallway outside the bedrooms and if in a multi-story dwelling then at least one on every floor. During the rehearsal of the home fire safety plan, test the interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms so all actually activate, and everyone becomes acquainted with their sound and meaning. Doing so may help lessen the sense of surprise or shock in a real-life fire event, and it is particularly important for young children who may not immediately associate the sound of a smoke alarm with danger.

Fire safety essentials within the home fire safety plan

Rehearsing your home fire safety plan is a great opportunity to impart some basic fire safety essentials. You may wish to document the following information in your home fire safety plan and ensure it is understood by all;

  • Immediately phone triple zero 000 for Australian emergency services, including the fire department.
  • Stay low to the ground to minimize inhaling toxic smoke and fumes which generally rise.
  • Prior to opening a door, test it using the back of the hand to ascertain if there is heat on the other side.
  • Close doors (but don’t lock) as you pass through them to limit air supply and possible expansion of the fire.
  • Once outside at the designated muster point perform a head count. Do not head back inside the burning building for any reason.

Conclusion

An effective home fire safety plan should be specific to each dwelling, and the occupants should be intimately familiar with it. Review the home fire safety plan twice a year and rehearse escaping from the building so that knowledge is put into practice. Ensure ZEN interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms are included and test these during the practice-run. Basic fire safety essentials should also be added to the home fire safety plan and practiced – doing so will increase the opportunity for your loved ones to successfully escape a burning home in a real-life emergency event.

Want to know more? Watch our ZEN quick start video or call us on 0478 596 402 today.

We love talking smoke alarms!

ZEN Photoelectric Smoke Alarms

New Farm, QLD, 4005

Ever wondered how to physically attach our ZEN smoke alarms onto your ceiling? You won’t believe how easy it is! A major benefit of ZEN wireless 10-year battery powered smoke alarms is that there is no electrical wiring involved – this means they can be installed without an electrician. ZEN smoke alarm bundle packs will even arrive to you already interconnected together as a group – no need to pair them up as we’ve done it for you!

Checklist:

  • ZEN wireless smoke alarm and its accompanying mounting bracket
  • Screws and anchor plugs (included with our ZEN smoke alarms)
  • Screwdriver or a cordless drill with 5mm drill bit
  • Pencil

STEP 1: Twist the mounting bracket to remove it from the rear of the ZEN smoke alarm.

STEP 2: Use a pencil to mark the location of the two mounting bracket slots on the ceiling position.

STEP 3: Use a 5mm drill bit to drill a pilot hole at each pencil location marked on the ceiling. Now insert an anchor plug into each pilot hole and use the two screws to affix the mounting bracket to the chosen position.

STEP 4: Press the ZEN smoke alarm to the mounting bracket and firmly rotate clockwise to lock it in place onto the bracket.

STEP 5: Push the surface of the ZEN smoke alarm (test button) to ensure it is working properly. If you have more than one interconnected smoke detector, then the others in the same group will also activate within approximately 10 seconds (this is normal). Allow all the interconnected smoke alarms to finish their full test cycle without pressing any other buttons – they will all stop automatically after approximately 10 seconds.

Where should I install

wireless interconnected smoke alarms?

Queensland smoke alarms should be placed inside every bedroom and the interconnecting hallway outside the bedrooms – if there is no common hallway outside the bedrooms then install a smoke alarm on the nearest route of exit or travel path from the dwelling. If it is a multi-story dwelling then there must be at least one smoke alarm installed on every level of the property.

Additionally, smoke detectors should not be installed within 30cm from the edge of a wall, within 30cm from a light fixture, 40cm from an air con vent and also within 40cm from a ceiling fan blade. It is preferable to install smoke detectors on the ceiling, as opposed to the wall.

Don’t forget – refer to your state legislation. Queensland smoke alarms laws state if an existing 240V hardwired smoke alarm is to be replaced, then it must be replaced with another 240V hardwired smoke alarm (requires an electrician).

WARNING – do not use these products

when installing your smoke alarms!

Be wary of retailers offering adhesive mounting kits or drill-free magnet mounting kits with their smoke alarms – we do not recommend using these products as they do NOT last. Whilst Australian Standard 3786:2014 doesn’t specify how smoke alarms should be attached to the ceiling, if you use the aforementioned products your smoke alarm will fall from the ceiling after a period of days, weeks or months, and it will become damaged when it smashes onto the floor.

How do we know this? – we stopped selling the adhesive kits / magnetic mounts several years ago. Consumer feedback indicated the products were unreliable, and in good conscience we could not continue selling them – we’d rather have happy satisfied customers at the expense of profits. Spend a few extra minutes and use the included screws to affix your smoke alarm to the ceiling – this is definetely the best way to install your wireless smoke alarms.

Want to know more? Watch our ZEN quick start video or call us on 0478 596 402 today.

We love talking smoke alarms!

ZEN Photoelectric Smoke Alarms

New Farm, QLD, 4005