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Fire Alarms

(12 Posts)
rattieofcarcassone Tue 11-Jul-17 14:01:34

DH and I cannot find this information anywhere despite googling and I've tried calling but the automated system keeps directing me to the bloody website before hanging up.

I am planning to start childminding in the next 6 months. We currently do not have wired in fire alarms, but we have got battery operated alarms which are linked to one another. Do we need to get wired in alarms or would our battery operated alarms suffice as long as I test them regularly?

OP’s posts: |
Maryann1975 Tue 11-Jul-17 19:40:35

Our local fire service fitted battery operated smoke alarms for us for free a couple of years ago. It never occurred to me these were not sufficient. Dh was a fireman for many years and he is happy with them, so I'm guessing they are fine.

HSMMaCM Tue 11-Jul-17 21:57:45

I have battery. I have plenty of them.

rattieofcarcassone Tue 11-Jul-17 22:32:32

Thanks, that's helpful to know! The documentation is all ambiguous. DH got through to a person in the end who also was unable to answer the question and his supervisor also wasn't entirely sure hmm the only reason we wanted to know was that when googling we came across conflicting posts from childminders who were told that they had to have wired in some detectors but nothing official saying that.

OP’s posts: |
Snap8TheCat Tue 11-Jul-17 22:34:54

Who did he call?

HSMMaCM Wed 12-Jul-17 04:07:45

The fire brigade said wired is better, but batteries are fine.

We toldOfsted how often the alarms are checked and all was fine.

rattieofcarcassone Wed 12-Jul-17 16:19:41

DH called ofsted, sorry that wasn't clear, we'd tried various 'legit' options and I think he just chose something else in the end to speak to somebody.

I'll keep a fire alarm log and that'll have to satisfy them. Thanks again smile

OP’s posts: |
Snap8TheCat Wed 12-Jul-17 18:31:34

Ok just for future, ofsted don't really dish out advice like that. They'll almost always refer you to the statutory framework so it would be useful to familiarise yourself with that. Who is registering?

rattieofcarcassone Wed 12-Jul-17 21:47:55

. The framework is ambiguous, that is why I wanted to clarify it before they came to do the initial inspection. This is what the framework says:
"Providers must have appropriate fire
detection and control equipment (for example, fire alarms, smoke detectors, fire
blankets and/or fire extinguishers) which is in working order."
Both DH and I have been trying to find an answer as to whether that means wired in or not and we both found nothing solid but a few people saying that they'd been told that it was compulsory for them to be wired in. Having experienced my mum's and nan's inspections in the past I am keen to make sure that they are satisfied with my home on the first attempt.
I'm the one who is registering, DH was looking as he is the one dealing with sorting out our home safety system and didn't believe me when I said that I couldn't find anything concrete.

OP’s posts: |
Maryann1975 Thu 13-Jul-17 14:04:24

Ofsted are only allowed to make a judgement on things in the framework, so as long as you have a working smoke alarm, they couldn't mark you down for it being the wrong type. Another example is socket covers or cupboard locks, lots of people think minders must have them, we don't have to as it's not in the framework, but we have to be able to defend our choice of not using them. Does that make sense?

rattieofcarcassone Thu 13-Jul-17 14:19:28

Knowing about the socket covers is what led me to wanting to confirm that no-wired fire alarms are okay as I know of minders in my area who, even recently, have been told that they had to have socket covers by inspectors despite them now not being recommended at all and being downright dangerous

OP’s posts: |
Maryann1975 Thu 13-Jul-17 21:31:10

Interesting to hear that some inspectors have picked up on socket covers as an issue. I asked my inspector (last autumn) and she said she wasn't allowed a professional opinion as they weren't in the framework so couldn't judge about them. But she understood all my reasons for not using them and was happy I'd risk assessed for not using them. I guess that's the same with the fire alarms, risk asses using he battery ones and it's ok.

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