Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS) is urging everyone to make a potentially lifesaving New Year’s resolution – test your smoke alarms.
Smoke alarms can give you the precious extra time needed to escape from a fire in the home but they are useless if the batteries are flat or have been removed. Last year over 200 people died in fires in their homes across the UK *. It only takes a matter of seconds to test your smoke alarms but doing so could save your life in an emergency.
Here are some simple steps that you can take to protect you and your loved ones:
- Install a smoke alarm on every level of your home
- The best places to fit them are at the bottom of the stairs, with further alarms on each stair landing
- The ideal position is on the ceiling, as near as possible to the centre of the room, hallway or landing
- To keep your smoke alarms in good working order:
- Once a week – test the battery in each smoke alarm
- Once a year – change the battery in the alarm (unless it is a 10-year alarm)
- Twice a year – gently vacuum over the slots to remove dust
- Every ten years – replace the entire smoke alarm
Iain Harrison, Group Manager for Prevention at RBFRS, said: “New Year is the time to make resolutions and positive changes. Testing your smoke alarms only takes a few minutes but doing so will give you the best chance of being alerted to a fire in your property. In fact, you’re at least four times more likely to die in a fire in the home if there’s no working smoke alarm**.
“Use the New Year as an opportunity to get into the habit of testing your smoke alarms and then make it part of your weekly household routine. This is a simple task that could keep you and your loved ones from harm.”