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Make Fire Safety Your 2021 New Year’s Resolution

With the New Year underway, Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS) is supporting this month’s Fire Kills smoke alarm purchasing campaign, urging households across the County to make sure they fit smoke alarms on every level of their home. Many people see January as an opportunity for a fresh start, making it the perfect time to ensure you are prioritising fire safety in 2021.

The latest fire statistics reveal that one smoke alarm may not be enough to provide you with the best chance of escaping a fire in the home. Despite the majority of homes (91%) having at least one working smoke alarm in their home, smoke alarms alerted householders to a fire in England in only 45% of cases.

The most common reason a smoke alarm failed to activate was because the fire was outside its range. For this reason, we are supporting the smoke alarm purchasing Fire Kills campaign, encouraging people in Berkshire to think about the smoke alarms in their home.

Ian Barks, Central Hub Prevention Manager, said: “The vast majority of us now have at least one smoke alarm in our homes, but early detection and warning is vital to reduce the devastation a fire in the home can cause. If you don’t have enough, or they’re not in the right place, you might not be alerted in time. That’s why it’s so important that you have enough smoke alarms, they are in the right place and they are working to have the best chance of alerting you and your loved ones to a fire.

“You should make sure you have at least one smoke alarm on every level of your home, preferably in hallways and landings. Placing smoke detectors near to sleeping areas and in rooms where there are electrical appliances could give you the extra warning you need. It’s also important to remember that smoke alarms don’t last forever. So whether they are battery operated or wired to the mains, it is important to check the batteries weekly to ensure that if the worst should happen, they can function correctly.”

To help keep you and your loved ones safe, follow these smoke alarm safety top tips:

  • Install at least one smoke alarm on every level of your home.
  • Fit your smoke alarms in the right place. The ideal position is on the ceiling, in the middle of a room or on a hallway or landing.
  • Consider fitting additional alarms in other rooms where there are electrical appliances and near sleeping areas.
  • Don’t put alarms in or near kitchens and bathrooms where smoke or steam can set them off by accident.
  • Test your smoke alarm batteries weekly. Testing your smoke alarm only takes a few seconds and it could save a life.
  • 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.

Visit the Smoke Alarms page on our website for more advice.