Thurnau – smoke detectors can save lives. "If you don't have one installed in your apartment or house, you're playing with fire", says district fire inspector siegfried zillig after the fire in thurnau, which killed an 81-year-old man on thursday due to smoke poisoning.
The fire in thurnau and the attempted arson in oberzettlitz have led to renewed discussion about the importance of smoke detectors. How important are these?
Siegfried zillig: without referring to the current fire, we know from many other incidents that smoke alarms save lives. They trigger the alarm at an early stage and wake up sleeping people. 70 percent of the 200,000 or so fires registered in germany each year occur at night. 95 percent of the people who die in fires do not die from burns, but from smoke poisoning, such as that caused by smoldering fires. If a smoke detector goes off, the chances of everything ending well are much greater.
The importance of smoke detectors is emphasized again and again, but many households are apparently not yet equipped with it. People don't take the issue seriously?
A certain carelessness can be observed. Those who do not deal with the subject are playing with fire. One must be aware that the senses of smell are not active during sleep. The sleeping person does not notice that there is a fire, is often only awake by noises that cause bursting windows, for example. Then it is often too late.
How many households do not have smoke detectors??
There are no reliable figures. Smoke detectors are already compulsory in new buildings and renovations. Old stock must be completely rebuilt by 2017. Who does not have fire detectors, should not wait however so long, but these best already today buy.
What do you have to invest to get a good smoke detector??
Smoke detectors are not expensive. They are available for as little as five euros. You should make sure that they carry the quality mark. Smoke detectors should at least be installed in all dormitories and escape and rescue routes. If you want to invest more, you can buy radio equipment. If a smoke detector goes off, all the others in the house will be drawn as well.
Smoke detectors must be maintained?
In the case of devices with a replaceable battery, the batteries must be replaced every one or two years. But there are also ten-year batteries. One should check the functionality monthly. If the measuring and test chambers are used up or dirty, the devices must be replaced.
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