Around 70 percent of all 400 German fire victims counted annually by German statistics die at home at night (according to information from the Rauchmelder-Lebensretter.de initiative The number proves that fire protection in your own four walls should have the highest priority. But don’t worry: Nobody has to convert their apartment into a fireproof castle. A lot can be achieved with just a few measures.
Almost nationwide smoke alarm compulsory
By far the most effective fire protection aid is a smoke detector. 95 percent of all fire victims do not die from burn wounds, but from acute, often avoidable smoke gas poisoning Smoke gas consists of carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, irritant gases and other pollutants that enter the lungs. If the air you breathe has a smoke gas concentration of at least 10 percent, this leads to death after a single minute.
Most federal states have therefore introduced an obligation to hang a smoke detector in each of the living rooms and passageways The only palm-sized, battery-operated devices are usually installed under the ceiling. They react sensitively when smoke rises or when certain combustion gases reach too high a proportion of the room air. In the event of danger, they alert or wake the possibly sleeping residents.
Who exactly has to take care of the suspension and maintenance of the fire alarm is regulated differently from state to state. For the most part, these obligations lie with the landlord or owner of an apartment.
Fire extinguishers for domestic use
For use in the apartment and house, a “handheld fire extinguisher” (the official name) with foam is recommended. Compared to water extinguishers, they have better extinguishing performance and, compared to powder extinguishers, can be used in a more targeted manner without contaminating the facility. Foam extinguishers are therefore a good compromise, also suitable for laypeople, from the various strengths and weaknesses of the fire extinguisher types.
In the best case scenario, a fire extinguisher is located where it is likely to be easy to reach in the event of a fire, for example in the hallway If, on the other hand, it is hidden in the farthest corner of the attic or basement, it is of no use in an emergency. The same applies if the extinguisher is no longer functional. Commercial enterprises are therefore obliged to have their fire extinguishers serviced at least every two years an interval that is also generally recommended for private extinguishers.
By the way, a foam extinguisher with a capacity of 6 liters can release extinguishing foam for 20 to 30 seconds That’s enough to put out any small fire If this filling quantity is not sufficient, it is high time to wait outside the building for the fire brigade, which has hopefully already been alerted