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AIBU to think every home should have a smoke alaem?

30 replies

iggi999 · 09/04/2011 23:42

Have just discovered/noticed that PIL do not have a smoke alarm. They live in a first floor flat and are both smokers, as well as having all the electrical appliances you might expect.
never even crossed my mind they wouldn't have one, but it came up tonight. They have given me lots of reasons why their house will never go on fire as a reason for not having one!

OP posts:

AgentZigzag · 09/04/2011 23:44

You're right, but it's their choice when it comes down to brass tacks.

Unless they've made it compulsary when I was looking the other way?


MsScarlettInTheLibrary · 09/04/2011 23:44

YANBU - we had ours fitted for free and they have some kind of long life battery that never needs changing.


sausagerolemodel · 09/04/2011 23:57

I think most fire brigades - if you look on their website, have a service where they will come and do a fire safety assessment of your house and fit smoke alarms for free. The whole thing only takes about ten minutes and the alarms are of a higher quality that most of the ones that you can buy off the shelf*.

Everyone should take advantage of this - its a great service!

*this info from my brother who is a commander in the Strathclyde Brigade.


AgentZigzag · 09/04/2011 23:57

It is a bit weird for someone to actively argue against getting something that could save them from a random fate.

A fire's not necessarily going to start in their flat for it to affect them, and don't they say you can't smell smoke when you're asleep because your sense of smell shuts down?

Sounds like it's just a stubborn 'I won't do as I'm told' kind of thing, not going to change/I've made it this far without new fangled things?


Sierra19 · 10/04/2011 01:46

People without alarms are idiots. I know of many stories of people who have died due to not having one and many people who have no doubt been saved because they do.

Yes Fire Servicesdo fit them for free but the government has cut the funding for this and only vulnerable people will get it soon so get them to do it whilst they still will for free.

They are utterly stupid to give you reasons why they won't have a fire. Anyone can.


madhattershouse · 10/04/2011 01:57

We got the fire service to fit some..we have had faults with 3 already (one year on). The worst was Xmas eve at 11pm..we ended up throwing it in the washing up! So much for the long life battery, Santa was nearly outed by a faulty smoke alarm Grin


ninedragons · 10/04/2011 04:16

I read a good tip on here, which was to change the batteries every year on the days the clocks went forwards and back. No forgetting for years and years.


Sierra19 · 10/04/2011 05:26

Madhatters, the fire service were given a vast faulty batch nationwide which would be why you had problems. Hopefully the ones you have now are ok.


AlpinePony · 10/04/2011 07:38

I think in a way YABABU for just worrying about smoke - I fear CO2 more than smoke. :(


iscream · 10/04/2011 10:18

Great idea to call the fire dept for an assessment. If they do not fit them with alarms, go ahead and buy them for them. It could be the very best present they ever receive.


wendyfromtheyard · 10/04/2011 10:27

There has been a huge advertising campaign in n ireland for this over the past couple of years. It has worked really well. They also advertise every monday evening around dinnertime ' thumbs up on monday', to get people to go and check the batteries are working. Even our dc shout now to do this when they see the ad. (even though ours is connected to the mains)


Sirzy · 10/04/2011 10:30

I don't understand why anyone wouldn't have one, or even not check the battery regularly - but I am paranoid about fire starting (no idea why but I had a recurrent nightmare as a child).

If you call your local fire station they will come and do an assessment and fit alarms for free so I dont see why anyone wouldn't have one really!


QuickLookBusy · 10/04/2011 10:34

My PIL were the same. They aren't smokers but have an open fire in the sitting room.

We went out and bought 2 for them. We bought a packet of the "stick up" things too. DH just went round and said "we have these spare, thought I'd put them up for you"

They were quite pleased!

If they had argued against it, he was going to mention that DDs wouldn't be allowed around for the night until they had some fitted. Luckly it didn't come to that.


mamatomany · 10/04/2011 10:35

The fire brigade have put two in our hallway and will come and change the batteries once a year if i ask them too, lovely fella's they are.


Laquitar · 10/04/2011 10:37

OP my parents were the same (and smokers too).

In the end i just bought 2 alarms when they had an electrician around to fix something else. I gave the alarms to the electrician and told him 'don't ask them, just fit the alarms'.

Not sure you can do this with your IL's , depends how close you are.

Maybe suggest to arrange a visit from Fire Brigate?


iggi999 · 10/04/2011 10:53

Thank you all for your comments, I'm a bit risk adverse so wanted to check it wasn't the norm not to have one (I have 3 smoke alarms and a CO2 ome myself Blush )
I'm concerned for their safety but as we stay there overnight every month or so, even more concerned about my DS.
I will bring one with me whenever they visit, maybe they will get the hint!
Wendyfromtheyard I grew up in NI, we have the scariest public safety ads there I believe!

OP posts:

smokinaces · 10/04/2011 11:31

The ex didnt have a smoke alarm in his (rented) flat. And said it wasnt a priority to get one.

Needless to say I bought one and put it up before the kids were allowed to sleep over there. He's already had one fire from putting his lighter ontop of a computer cabinet - not risking another with my children.

They are free, or very cheap if not through the fire brigade. I really struggle to understand why anyone (especailly with children) wouldnt have one


Littlefish · 10/04/2011 11:37

My friend's parents have just had a very lucky escape. They were in their house, and unknown to them, the roof was on fire. They had no smoke alarms. If it had been 3 hours later, when they were in bed, they would almost certainly have died.

As it is, their house will have to be half re-built and they have lost many treasured possessions.

Your PIL are being arses and are endangering the lives of everyone in the flats around them.


MillsAndDoom · 10/04/2011 11:45

When they are so cheap or even free in some areas it seems madness not to have one.

One of DHs students had a fire in his bedroom when his mobile phone charger overheated, fires can start so easily.


Littlefish · 10/04/2011 11:48

The fire I mentioned earlier was caused by one of the lights overheating. It happens so easily.


vegetariandumpling · 10/04/2011 17:37

Our smoke alarms are connected to the lights, so you can test them or turn them off by flicking the light switch. Works for us because we're all short arses vertically challenged Grin


WiiUnfit · 10/04/2011 19:53

YANBU, but it is unfortunately their choice.

DP is a firefighter & recently went to a chimney fire at an older couple's home, they obviously put the fire out & realised they didn't have a smoke alarm fitted. In DP's organisation, they are obliged to offer & fit one if the residence did not have one before, they advised this and the stupid cow wife said she did not want one "as they look ugly", cue lecture from the 6 or so burly firefighters stood in her lounge about the danger of not having one .etc, she eventually agreed. One day that smoke alarm may just save her life.

On the reality side of this, DP had a call out a few weeks ago to a guy who lived in what was basically a wooden shack, no electric or running water, lots of gas heaters + candles + decades worth of old newspapers, yellow pages .etc + no smoke alarm, he wasn't so lucky.

House fires aren't as uncommon / hard to start as people think they are & to not have a smoke alarm (which you can get for free from the Fire Service as others have said or for about £4 from B&Q) is just plain stupidity.


WiiUnfit · 10/04/2011 19:57

iggy, just another thought, you could raise the argument of your PILs endangering not only themselves but also the lives of others in the surrounding flats as well as the firefighters who pretty much have to enter if there are persons reported inside, people who are alerted to a fire early can get out - those who aren't tend to have to be rescued.


microserf · 10/04/2011 20:45

YANBU, AND also a carbon monoxide alarm.

my sister works in insurance claims and i have heard too many stories of families who lose everything and sometimes their lives. heartbreaking. we have multiple alarms. why risk it?


Cattleprod · 10/04/2011 20:59

Having casually asked 'do you have children?' to the relative of a friend at a Christmas party once, and being met by the response 'We lost our children in a fire', and seeing that hurt look behind their eyes that stays forever after a tragedy happens, really affected me.

Something so simple, and cheap or free, could save lives.

I have about 7 alarms, including 3 mains wired linked alarms, in a 3 bed flat. I'd rather have too many than not enough (even if they are a pain when I burn the sausages)!

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