Fire Damage – Smoke Detectors Save Lives!

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Danger lurks at night

Most deaths resulting from fires happen at night: candles left burning or defective appliances are the causes. Fire services, insurance companies and citizens initiatives have long been demanding that smoke detectors be installed in every home. In other countries the number of deaths due to fires has fallen significantly thanks to smoke detectors.

Smoke detectors save lives!

Smoke detectors are decisive in ensuring a fire is noticed immediately and possibly being able to nip it in the bud. Only by sounding the alarm at an early stage of the fire is it possible to escape. Three quarters of all casualties are victims of fires at night, because humans do not wake up through the smell of smoke. Smoke detectors save lives!

“If there were smoke detectors in every home we would have 50% fewer deaths due to fire” Albrecht Broemme, Head of the Berlin Fire Service.

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Facts about Missing Smoke Alarms

Sad numbers. Year on year

Each year around 200,000 homes catch fire in Germany. This causes the deaths of an average of 600 people, often children and senior citizens, whose lives would certainly have been saved by a smoke detector. Of a total of 60,000 injuries per year, around 6,000 people have severe permanent injuries.

Statistics

200.000 House fires
600 Dead
6.000 Seriously Injuries
60.000 Injuries
435.000.000 Euro Material damage
1.500.000.000 Euro Life, nursing care and incapacity insurance

Irreparable damage is caused each year by not having smoke detectors

The material damage alone from house fires amounts to 435,000,000 euros each year. In addition, very large amounts are paid out through life, professional and incapacity insurance, as well as for the need by the victims for nursing care (1.5 bn euros).

The solution: smoke detectors!

The damage suffered as set out here in sobering figures speak for themselves – year after year. The solution to the problem is simple: smoke detectors make a decisive contribution to significantly reducing these figures. In particular as the most serious consequences are due to fires at night. This is because you cannot smell smoke in your sleep. However, a smoke detector will trigger an alarm immediately when smoke develops, will wake you and will give you all important time to escape.

Who will wake you up when there's a fire?

Most deaths resulting from fires happen at night: candles left burning or defective appliances are often the causes. Fire services, insurance companies and citizens initiatives have long been demanding that smoke detectors be installed in every home. In countries where smoke detectors are widely in use the number of deaths due to fires has fallen significantly.

In these cases smoke detectors make an important contribution to a fire being noticed immediately and possibly being able to nip it in the bud. Only by sounding the alarm at an early stage of the fire is it possible to save lives and to take appropriate action to tackle the fire.

Smoke detectors save lives!

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Where to Install a Smoke Detector

Mindestschutz Wohnung Haus WEB

Where should smoke detectors be installed? And where not?

As the sense of smell is not active in people in animals when they are asleep, and because two to four breaths of toxic smoke can lead to severe brain damage or death, it is important that a smoke detector is installed in every bedroom on the ceiling and as far as is possible in the centre of the room.

Escape routes are important!

Furthermore, detectors should monitor escape routes, such as corridors and stair wells, and be placed every four to six meters. Additional protection can be offered by also installing smoke detectors in rooms which are not used as bedrooms or escape routes, such as living rooms and dining rooms. Smoke detectors should not be installed in the kitchen or bathroom, as environmental influences such as dense steam can trigger an unwanted false alarm. The hallway outside of the kitchen is a good place to install a smoke detector, because the proximity to the cooker and at the same time the distance from it means that an alarm is only triggered in real situations. Smoke detectors should always be installed for every 25m2 of floor space and the distance between the devices should, if possible, be less than 6m.

“In a room filled with smoke the visibility is down to zero. You cannot see your hand in front of your face, let alone the exit. It is therefore important to be aware of a fire early enough, so that you can escape”. Wolfgang Weiden, Chief of Operations of the Bergisch Gladbach Fire Service.

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DIN 14676

DIN 14676 grau

Application standard

DIN 14676 is an application standard and for the operator it governs what types of detector are to be installed and where, and in what way the maintenance of the devices is to take place. In terms of quality, the maintenance service at Pyrexx GmbH exceeds the requirements of DIN 14676 by a long way. DIN 14676 should be viewed as an instrument which documents the best available technology for the user in regard to the installation location and the maintenance operations. At the centre of DIN 14676 is obligatory annual visual inspection. Currently, no remote maintenance inspections conform to DIN standards.

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DIN EN 14604

DIN 14676 weiss

Manufacturing standard

DIN EN 14604 is a manufacturing standard which applies to companies which manufacture smoke detectors and then sell it on the EU market. The Pyrexx smoke detectors with the MGP installation technique fulfil the requirements of DIN EN 14604.

Although DIN EN 14604 defines, for example, the colour of the warning lights, assuming the manufacturer decides to fit their product which such a feature, it does not in any specific way define they type of fixing for a smoke detector. This standard does not set down particular screws and screw plugs as the means of fixing, but very generally uses the term “means of fixing”. This is also the correct approach, as the choice of fixing for a smoke detector is ultimately dependent upon the type of surface where the detector is to be installed. As part of the standard's impact test, the smoke detector must remain affixed in its installation location when the body of the device is hit from the side with a pre-defined force. Although this impact test cannot replicate the actual diversity of different installation locations and also does not define a particular means of fixing, Pyrexx GmbH has had the MGP installation method tested by TüV using the impact test contained in DIN EN 14604 for resistance to this defined lateral impact test. The MGP fixing technique passed the test with ease.

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Excerpt from the statutory Drinking Water Ordinance (2011)

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Drinking Water Ordinance

Inspection obligation: Drinking water facilities with large-scale systems for the heating of drinking water must be tested for Legionella. A drinking water heating system is considered to be a large-scale system if:

  • the storage volume of the drinking water equipment is more than 400 litres or
  • the water volume contained in at least one of the pipes between the outlet of the water heater and the furthermost point of use is more than 3 litres.

Systems in one- or two-family houses are not subject to the inspection obligation. Samples must be taken from representative points of use in the drinking water facilities at three-year intervals. Samples must be taken from at least three points:

  • at the outlet of the drinking water heater,
  • before re-entering the drinking water heater,
  • at the furthermost point in each ascending pipe.

The sampling may only be performed by certified sampling personnel. The samples must be transported to an accredited laboratory for testing within 24 hours. Before sampling, the owner must ensure that suitable taps are installed at the sampling points.

Duty of disclosure and duty requiring action: In the case of positive results, the health authorities and the affected tenants must be informed without delay. Depending on the evaluation of the results, corresponding measures must be performed, which may be prescribed by the health authorities.

Duty to provide information: Tenants must be informed in writing on an annual basis about the quality of their drinking water based on the test results. The individual aspects of the inspection processes, all implemented measures and the determined results must be documented and kept available for ten years. Our complete service for all aspects regarding Legionella relieves your burden with fulfilling your legal duties.

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