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Do you have enough smoke alarms?

his August, Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS) is supporting the month-long Fire Kills Smoke Alarm Purchasing campaign, encouraging households across the County to purchase enough smoke alarms to cover their entire household.

A common reason for a smoke alarm failing to activate is because the smoke didn’t reach the detector, meaning that one smoke alarm may not be enough to provide the best chance of escaping a fire in the home. Having numerous smoke alarms offers better protection because it increases the chances of getting a vital early warning sign, which could provide a few crucial extra seconds to escape in the event of a fire.

Gail Muirhead, West Hub Prevention Manager, said: Having one smoke alarm in your home may not be enough to protect you and your family from a fire in the home. We would encourage all of our residents to fit a smoke alarm on every level of their home and test them weekly to ensure that they are working correctly. In the event of a fire, working smoke alarms will give you valuable time to get out, stay out and call 999.”

Residents should install at least one smoke alarm on every level of their home. Take a look at our tips for installing smoke alarms:

  • The ideal position is on the ceiling, as near as possible to the centre of the room, hallway or landing.
  • Consider fitting additional alarms in other rooms where there are electrical appliances and near sleeping areas.

We are also encouraging residents to take the time to maintain their smoke alarms, which can be done by following the advice below: 

  • Test smoke alarms at least weekly.
  • Never remove the batteries from your smoke alarms – unless you are replacing them.
  • Check which type of smoke alarm you have and replace it when needed – this could be every 10 years or even every year.
  • Gently vacuum over the slots of your smoke alarms to remove dust twice a year.

People who are moving house or to university are advised to contact their housing provider to ensure that the correct safety measures are in place.

For further information about smoke alarms, visit the Smoke Alarm page of our website.