Make Fire Safety your New Year's Resolution

Smoke Alarm Testing

With the New Year underway, Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS) would like to remind residents to make home fire safety a priority.

This month, we’re supporting the Fire Kills campaign, which asks people to make sure they fit smoke alarms on every level of their home and to test them regularly. It only takes a few seconds and can save lives.

You should test your smoke alarms weekly to ensure that they are still working, and make sure you change the battery when needed. The length of time will depend on the alarm – this could be every ten years or even every year, so it’s important to know which type of alarm you have.

It’s clear that most people know a working smoke alarm can save lives by providing those vital few seconds needed to escape a fire in the home.  But, despite 90% of homes having at least one working smoke alarm, smoke alarms alerted householders to a fire in England in only 43% of cases.  The most common reason a smoke alarm failed to activate was because the fire was outside its range. 

Group Manager, Jess James said: “We must all make sure that we have enough smoke alarms in our homes. If you don’t have enough, or they’re not in the right place, you might not be alerted in time.

You should make sure you have at least one smoke alarm on every level of your home, preferably in hallways and landings near to sleeping areas or electrical appliances.”

To help keep you and your loved ones safe in the home, you should:

  • 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.
  • Not put smoke alarms in or near kitchens and bathrooms where smoke or steam can set them off by accident.
  • Check your type of alarm and replace your smoke alarms when advised – depending on your alarm this could be every ten years or even every year.
  • Check on elderly friends and relatives to ensure their smoke alarms are tested and fitted properly.
  • Plan and practise an escape route and make sure that everyone in your home knows it.

To find out more about how to ensure you have enough working smoke alarms, please visit our Smoke Alarm page.