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A New Year’s Resolution Worth Making – Smoke Alarms Make Homes Safer

As we enter the New Year, Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS) is reminding people to ensure that they have enough working smoke alarms in their homes.

Working smoke alarms save lives. However, many homes do not have enough alarms to cover the whole building. Whilst most homes (90%) have at least one working smoke alarm, smoke alarms alerted householders to a fire in only 43% of cases in England. 

In most cases where a smoke alarm fails to warn occupiers, the fire was beyond its range. For this reason, RBFRS is encouraging people across the county to ensure that they have a working smoke alarm on every floor of their home.

Tim Readings, Group Manager, said: “In many homes, one smoke alarm simply isn’t enough. If you don’t have enough or if they’re not positioned in the right places, you might not be alerted in time during an emergency.

“You should make sure you have at least one smoke alarm on every level of your home, preferably in hallways and landings. Positioning them near bedrooms or places where there are electrical appliances could give you the extra warning you need if a fire does break out.

“Remember, 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 happens, they work as intended.”

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.