As the cost of living increases across the UK, the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) and Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service are urging people to take fire safety precautions in the home to stay safe, including ensuring that they have smoke and carbon monoxide alarms fitted and in good working order.
Smoke alarms save lives if they are installed and maintained correctly. Residents can follow some simple safety advice in order to reduce the chance of their smoke alarm failing to operate in an emergency:
- Install additional smoke alarms where there are electrical appliances and near sleeping areas.
- Install at least one smoke alarm on each level of your home.
- Test all your alarms at least weekly to ensure they are working.
- Alarms don’t last forever – check what type of alarm you have and replace them accordingly. This could be every year or every 10 years.
- If you can, interlink the alarms in your home.
Residents are also encouraged to install a carbon monoxide (CO) alarm in their home. CO is a highly poisonous gas, which you cannot see, taste or smell. It is recommended that any room with a fuel-burning appliance such as an open fire, wood-burning stove or gas appliances such as a boiler or cooker should have a working CO alarm fitted.
The advice comes following the NFCC’s national Home Fire Safety Week – which took place between 13 and 19 June, which aims to keep people safer from fire in their homes. NFCC is concerned that people may put themselves at additional risk as the cost of living increases and remind people to buy, charge and run electrical products safely and ensure they keep warm safely.
By taking a few simple steps, people can reduce their risk of fire in the home. NFCC is also urging people not to take additional risks and be alert to how simple measures could save lives and reduce injuries.
The week of action is supported by fire and rescue services across the UK and covers a range of areas, such as electrical safety, the dangers of illegal cigarettes and the offer of home safety fire checks and fire safety advice from Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service.
People are being urged to buy electrical products from reputable retailers, sign up to the national product safety alerts and recalls, and to register appliances. This year’s campaign also highlights the NFCC’s online home fire safety check tool. By using the online home safety tool, people can explore whether they – along with loved ones or neighbours – could be at greater risk from fire.
People are encouraged to ensure they have smoke and carbon monoxide alarms fitted and in good working order. As many people look to reduce heating bills fire services want to ensure people are keeping warm safely. Products such as portable heaters and electric blankets must be in good working order, not subject to any recalls and used correctly.