If the smoke alarm goes off, I should wake everyone up, right?

(19 Posts)
Mojavewonderer Thu 03-Oct-13 10:44:41

On my honeymoon my husband (stupidly) put towels on the heater to dry which I hadn't noticed or I would have taken them off and low and behold it caught fire in the middle of the night in our bedroom. We both nearly died and there was no fire alarm.
So I would certainly wake my husband if the fire alarm went off in our house and check everywhere even if we couldn't detect smoke straight away. It only takes a minute and could save yours and your families life.

DeWe Thu 03-Oct-13 10:27:13

There was a study shown some point that showed the children often didn't wake up to fire alarms. This was some of it on a report on the Philpott children's deaths.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-derbyshire-23060829

When I was about 16yo the fire alarm went off at 4am at our home. Only my dad (out of 5 of us) also woke. We did a thorough search of the house and concluded it was a false alarm.

My dsis had a false alarm, which she called the fire brigade out for, and they discovered that s spider had laid eggs in the alarm and the tiny spiders had somehow shortciruited it and caused the alarm.

But having a couple of times been in hotels in the middle of the night when the alarms went off, people do not react to them-they assume they're false.
We were on 5th floor, 2 children (1 baby 1 toddler) and the alarm went off at 3am. We grabbed coats, picked the children up in blankets and headed straight down the fire exit. It was over 5 minutes later when the first other guests (out of about 200-300) came sleepily out, fully dressed and carrying their suitcase they'd repacked.
Management were going crazy trying to get people to just come out. Fire brigade was even less happy when they arrived, and found people refusing to come out-and even complaining about the noise. If it had been a serious fire then there would have been a lot of deaths.

HadALittleFaith Thu 03-Oct-13 08:33:04

Plus on tv there's loads of flames and minimal smoke. That's a lie, there's loads of smoke, not much flames (ime). Never even saw a flame, fire was the other end of a dark kitchen. The smoke damage was horrendous though and it's the smoke that will make you pass out if you inhale it leaving you unable to escape.

FavoriteThings Thu 03-Oct-13 08:20:14

You could show him a video of quite how fast a house goes up in flames. It is far faster than what is shown on soaps or dramas.

FavoriteThings Thu 03-Oct-13 08:17:42

I know people like this. If they are out and about, and a fire goes off, they carry on shopping or carry on eating their fish and chips.

HadALittleFaith Thu 03-Oct-13 08:14:41

I would make sure you have an action plan in place so you all know what to do in the event of a fire - exit routes, shoes accessible, keys to hand.

I say this because we had a fire (pre-DC). Fire alarm went off. We couldn't smell any smoke but when we opened the kitchen door it was thick with smoke. We got out ASAP and called the fire service. They said we had minutes to get out because the smoke was from the gloss work tops so it was toxic. We'd always had a fire plan in place and I'm glad because it meant we could calmly exit in a terrifying situation. We lost a lot of stuff (even though the fire engine arrived within 7 minutes) - £16k of contents and £35k buildings! but at least we were ok.

So yes I would investigate first - no point waking everyone if it's nothing - but having a plan in place saves precious time.

Itsaboatjack Thu 03-Oct-13 00:19:14

I've woken up to false alarm smoke alarms. I've also woken up to an actual fire setting off the smoke alarm. I could smell the smoke straight away and I knew it was a real fire and acted with urgency. We all got out unharmed luckily.

My dd1 though will sleep through anything, including a proper industrial fire alarm, to the point when at about 3 months, with a bell ringing in her bedroom, I was prodding her to check she was still breathing as she slept right through it.

lostinindia Thu 03-Oct-13 00:10:58

Dettol mould and mildew spray sets mine off. The alarm is a good few feet away from the bathroom too.

itsonlyme85 Thu 03-Oct-13 00:00:00

I always get up to check. but thats only because a few years ago while living in a private rented flat, the twats below me set fire to their flat (chip pan) and my flat was filled with smoke. They also left there front door open so the smoke was everywhere i couldn't see anything. It scared the life out of me my dd was only 2 at the time it scared her and ruined my flat. So i kind of crap my pants when it goes off now

Mogz Wed 02-Oct-13 23:32:06

If you can smell smoke you are inhaling it, and that can be a serious health risk. Anytime your smoke alarm goes off without an obvious reason (burnt dinner!) you should alert everyone in the house and take measures to leave if necessary.
Having a close to fatal experience with an arson attack when my alarm's batteries were dead I tend to take these things seriously.

well if you are burning toast no don't wake him up, but if you are all asleep yes wake him up. I worry about this my kids are now teenagers but have always slept through loads noises, parties ect, and now do not wake up if i set of smoke alarm..

2rebecca Wed 02-Oct-13 23:07:42

If ours went off I'd just go and investigate, but we don't live in a huge house so it's quick to check it out and remove battery and get back to bed if it's faulty. If you live in a mansion I can see you'd want to wake everyone but it's a bit OTT in most houses.

onepieceoflollipop Wed 02-Oct-13 22:23:38

We have alarms linked to the mains (3 storey house). On occasion on very hot humid nights they go off spontaneously and briefly. On these occasions i check round but don't panic the dcs by making them get up.

volestair Wed 02-Oct-13 22:20:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

frogwatcher42 Wed 02-Oct-13 21:51:19

Ours go off occasionally. Not sure why - normally to do with batteries I think.

I must admit we don't fly out of bed - one of us does and quickly checks each room starting with where the alarm is sounding. Then if all is clear we do a more thorough check, then go back to sleep. The other one stays in bed!!

But I suppose in the event of a fire we would burn due to our laid back approach. To my mind the alarm sets off with quite a bit of smoke so once woken we should smell it. Assuming we can't then it is likely a false alarm. If we could smell smoke on awakening then all hell would break lose I am sure - my shouting would then be enough to wake all including dh snoring away beside me.

On a more worrying note, none of the dc have ever woken even if the alarm goes off in their rooms. Considering they are light sleepers generally (they wake if I go to the loo for instance) I do find that very odd, and worrying.

TigerSwallowTail Wed 02-Oct-13 21:50:48

Was everything ok?

Yanbu, of course.

FortyDoorsToNowhere Wed 02-Oct-13 21:49:38

How can anyone sleep through a smoke alarm.

MrsBW Wed 02-Oct-13 21:48:06

Your DH sleeps through a smoke alarm going off? shock

Oh, but no... YANBU.

mrspremise Wed 02-Oct-13 21:46:53

Apparently not, according to DH, because he was asleep and "nothing is obviously wrong right now...". AIBU to think, WTF? Get out of bed?!

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