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Do You Have Enough Smoke Alarms? One is not enough!

Smoke alarms – at least one on every level.

In partnership with the national Fire Kills campaign, Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS) is encouraging residents across the county to purchase enough smoke alarms to keep their homes and lives safe.

While a majority of households (91%) have a fitted working smoke alarm, statistics from the Home Office have revealed that in incidents where smoke alarms failed to activate, the most common reason was that smoke did not reach the detector.

For this reason, the Service is calling for people across Berkshire to purchase enough smoke alarms to keep themselves and their loved ones safe. There should be at least one smoke alarm on every floor of the home, situated near high-risk rooms. This way, smoke will be detected earlier, ensuring that residents are alerted quicker.

“Working smoke alarms save lives,” states Paul Scott, Prevention Manager. “These simple devices will provide vital escape time for you and your loved ones in the event of a fire. We know that most households have at least one smoke alarm, but recent data has shown that one per home may not be enough.

“To ensure your whole home is covered, place at least one smoke alarm on every level so that each room is in range. We advise fitting them on the ceilings of hallways or landings, positioning them near bedrooms or rooms with many electrical appliances as these places tend to be of higher risk.

“Remember to test them weekly to ensure that are working.”

Follow these steps to ensure your home is covered:

  • Install at least one smoke alarm on every level of your home.
  • Fit your smoke alarms in the right place – preferably on the ceiling in a hallway or landing. Avoid placing them in kitchens and bathrooms where smoke or steam can accidentally set them off.
  • Test your smoke alarms by pressing the button. This should be done regularly, ideally once a week.
  • Change the batteries once a year. Never remove them temporarily.
  • Replace your smoke alarms every 10 years, even if you think they still work.
  • Consider checking on vulnerable relatives or neighbours who may need assistance with installing and testing their smoke alarms.

For further advice and information, visit RBFRS’s Safety at Home website pages.