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RBFRS Encourages Smoke Alarm Testing this October

Working smoke alarms save lives – get them, install them, test them.

Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS), as part of the National Fire Chiefs Council’s (NFCC) monthly Fire Kills campaign, is urging people to test their smoke alarms to keep their homes, themselves, and their families safe.

“Testing smoke alarms only takes a few seconds, yet those few seconds could save your life” says Paul Scott, Central Hub Prevention Manager for RBFRS. “Once fitted, smoke alarms are often forgotten about and people do not realise that they are faulty or have stopped working completely.

“Smoke alarms are an essential protection device for keeping your homes safe, as they offer vital escape time for you and your loved ones in the event of a fire. So please test your alarms weekly and change the batteries once a year to protect your households.”

Follow these simple steps to prioritise your safety:

  • 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.
  • Twice a year, gently vacuum the alarm to remove dust.
  • 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 information and advice, visit RBFRS’s Safety at Home webpages, including our smoke alarm guidance.