Smoke and Carbon alarms – How do they keep homes safe?

The importance of Smoke, Carbon and Heat alarms cannot be understated.

According to statistics released by the fire and rescue service, fatalities from a house fire are twice as likely to occur if the property has not been fitted with a working smoke alarm.
It has also become a legal requirement that a property can not be rented until it is fitted with working alarms where necessary

But how do they keep us safe?

Smoke detectors may use several different means to detect the presence of a fire:

  • Ionization – These types of smoke detectors are fitted with a radioactive isotope (don’t worry, the radiation is extremely weak!), usually Americium-241, that ionizes the air. If smoke particles are present in the air, this will create a different energy signature, which will indicate the presence of a fire.
  • Photoelectric – Infrared or visible light is emitted onto a sensor inside the alarm, if smoke is present, the light will be distorted, and the sensor will pick up on this difference.
  • Heat – The detector will monitor changes in temperature and issue an audible warning if the temperature crosses above a certain threshold, these types of alarms are recommended in places with constant exposure to fumes, such as kitchens.

Whichever means of detection, the smoke alarm will then be able to alert the occupant(s) to the presence of the fire, this greatly increases the chances of a positive outcome.

Carbon monoxide (CO) detectors are essential where solid fuel burning appliances are present
CO is created from an incomplete combustion process, where there the supply of oxygen is not sufficient.

It is a highly dangerous substance, both colourless and odourless, and can quickly cause unconsciousness, as it binds to red blood cells and prevents them from carrying oxygen.


The only way one can be alerted to the presence of CO is through the use of a working carbon alarm.

When Hinch Property Management undertakes a property inventory, our clerks test every smoke alarm to ensure the safety of the incoming tenants.


If an alarm is deemed not to be working, the agent is informed right away so that a working alarm can be fitted. This will prevent the property from being unlawfully rented out and prevent rental voids for property managers and landlords.

If you would like to book an Inventory, Check out, Check In, or Mid Term Inspection, please email us at, or call the office line at 0207 989 9128


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