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The Age of Enlightenment! The Changing views on smoke alarms in Europe January 2008 By Jason Perrins, Managing Director of BRK Brands Europe Ltd PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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The Age of Enlightenment! The Changing views on smoke alarms in Europe January 2008 By Jason Perrins, Managing Director of BRK Brands Europe Ltd. Issues Gathering Up To Date Statistics From Across Europe Who has domestic smoke alarms and in what country Purchasing and usage

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The Age of Enlightenment! The Changing views on smoke alarms in Europe January 2008 By Jason Perrins, Managing Director of BRK Brands Europe Ltd

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The Age of Enlightenment!

The Changing views on smoke alarms in Europe

January 2008

By Jason Perrins,

Managing Director of BRK Brands Europe Ltd


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  • Issues Gathering Up To Date Statistics From Across Europe

  • Who has domestic smoke alarms and in what country

  • Purchasing and usage

    • UK : Yearly Fire Statistics are available & Fire Kills Campaign

    • In other countries, figures may vary

  • In 2006, together with Nederlandse Brandwonden Stichting BRK Brands undertook a market study to assess the status in the Netherlands

  • In January 2007, BRK Brands undertakes a similar study in Belgium

  • In August 2007 the study was repeated with NBS in the Netherlands

  • In September 2007 BRK Brands undertakes a market study in France (adapted for this market)


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  • Ten years ago, penetration of smoke alarms in dwellings

  • UK : 1988 10%; 1996 70%

  • Netherlands : < 10%

  • Belgium : < 1%

  • France: < 3%

  • Today,

  • UK : 89%

  • Netherlands : 64,4%

  • Belgium : 53,7% (70% Wallonia, 50% Brussels, 30% Flanders)

  • France : 10,4%


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  • Major catalysts to change

  • United Kingdom : - Building Code 1992 (new & renovated buildings) - Building Code updates 2000 (Approved document B) - Fire Kills Campaign – TV advertising 1 - 2 times pa. This is the 10th campaign. Publicity material and information.

  • Netherlands : - Building Code 2003 (new & renovated dwellings) however 62% of people are not aware of it - Fire Safety Week has existed for more than 15 year and has become an annual smoke alarm campaign running for one month in October 06, 07 & is planned for 08

  • Belgium : - Brussels decree (rented dwellings) in 2005 - Wallonia decree (all dwellings) in 2006 - Flemish decree is immanent

  • France : - Proposal of law in October 2005, yet to be passed - 47.3% of equipped households did it as prevention, - 22.5% as a result of in store promotions - 11.9% due to media


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  • Percentage of people with a demand for smoke alarms at home

  • Netherlands : 96,8%

  • Belgium : 86,6%

  • France : of the people without a smoke alarm

  • 36.5% did not consider it neccessary 25,5% say they don’t because they are renting 16,8% because it is too expensive!

  • The same group would install one if they where obliged to by their insurance company (46,9%), or by law (32,7%).

  • How much do you think a smoke alarm costs?

  • Netherlands : between 11 & 30€: 66%

  • Belgium : between 11 & 30€: 61,1%

  • France : between 11 & 30€: 39,4% - 37% believes > 51€ of which 22,8% >80€!


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  • Location of installation

  • NL & BE : Mostly in living and sleeping areas.

  • 15% in both countries install their smoke alarms in kitchen!

  • Testing

  • In the UK, 1 in 3 smoke alarms fail to operate in fires - mainly due to missing or non-working batteries. Reflected in the Fire Kills Campaign ‘Pull your finger out! Test your smoke alarm’

  • 13% in BE never test their smoke alarms. In NL, it is 19% but 17,8% know their smoke alarms do not have working batteries.

  • Maintenance

  • In NL 58,9% have never maintained their smoke alarms (71% do not know they have to!). In the less mature Belgium, this is 44,3%.

  • NL : 36% have never taken the battery out of the smoke – 33,4% did so because of low battery signal. In Belgium, 65,1% & 22,4%.


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  • Conclusion

  • Legislation

  • Provision of information

  • Raising awareness of prevention

  • In less mature countries like France, better control of the market is required & an increased focus on educating the population

  • In ‘mature’ countries like the UK, the Netherlands and Belgium, we have to educate people on the usage and maintenance of smoke alarms and home saftey in general

    • it’s not enough to install them, they have to test and clean them and develop and practice evacuation plans.

  • via Fire Brigades activities

  • In store information (or collaboration, see example NL)

  • Media information.


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