Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS) is urging people to spring into action and fit smoke alarms in their homes – one is not enough! The guidance is being issued in support of a month-long campaign advising people to test their smoke alarms regularly and to fit further smoke alarms where necessary.
Most people know that working smoke alarms can be a life saver, as they can provide that extra time needed to escape in a fire. But despite 88% of homes having working smoke alarms, they only alerted the householder in a third of cases* . The most common reason a smoke alarm failed to activate is because the fire was outside of its range.
Here are some simple steps that you can take to protect yourself and your loved ones:
- Install a smoke alarm on every level of your home
- The best places to fit them are at the bottom of the stairs, with further alarms on each stair landing
- The ideal position is on the ceiling, as near as possible to the centre of the room, hallway or landing
- Consider fitting additional smoke alarms in other rooms where there are electrical appliances and near sleeping areas
To keep your smoke alarms in good working order:
- Once a week – test the battery in each smoke alarm
- Once a year – change the battery in the alarm (unless it is a 10-year alarm)
- Twice a year – gently vacuum over the slots to remove dust
- Every ten years – replace the entire smoke alarm
Iain Harrison, Group Manager for Prevention at RBFRS, said: “The majority of people now have at least one smoke alarm in their homes, but early detection and warning is vital to reduce the devastation that a fire in the home can cause.
“Having at least one smoke alarm fitted on every level of your home, preferably in hallways and landings, could give you the extra warning you need. You also need to remember that smoke alarms don’t last forever so checking the batteries weekly can ensure that if the worst should happen, they can function correctly.”