With the New Year now underway, Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS) is encouraging people to make sure they make fire safety a priority and fit smoke alarms on every level of their home and to test them regularly.
A working smoke alarm can save lives by providing the vital time needed to escape a fire in the home. But, despite the majority of homes (90%) having at least one working smoke alarm in their home, smoke alarms alerted householders to a fire in only 43% of cases in England.
The most common reason a smoke alarm failed to activate was because the fire was beyond its range. For this reason, RBFRS is encouraging people across Royal Berkshire to have a think about the smoke alarms in their home.
Tim Readings, Group Manager from RBFRS, 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 test the alarm 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.
- Replace your smoke alarms every 10 years.
- Consider purchasing and installing smoke alarms for relatives or neighbours who may need assistance properly fitting them.
- Do not ignore a neighbour’s beeping smoke alarm.If you hear a neighbour’s smoke alarm, check if there’s a fire. Ring the doorbell or see if there are any obvious signs that a fire may have started but make sure you don’t put yourself in any danger.
For more information on smoke alarms, you can visit the RBFRS website.
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