Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service is urging residents to get into the habit of testing their smoke alarms regularly

Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS) is supporting this month’s Fire Kills smoke alarm testing campaign, urging households across the County to test the smoke alarms in their houses regularly. 

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photo of male safe and well technician looking at smoke alarm on ceiling and pressing the button on it with finger

Statistics show that only 26 percent of all households who own a smoke alarm test them on a regular basis and in the year ending March 2020, there were 199 fire-related deaths in the home.

By supporting the Fire Skills smoke alarm testing campaign, RBFRS hopes to encourage everyone to test their smoke alarms more regularly and, ultimately, prevent more deaths.

Gail Muirhead, West Hub Prevention Manager, said: “I’d encourage our residents to make sure they get into the habit of testing their smoke alarms regularly as they can save you and your loved ones’ lives. In the event of a fire, working smoke alarms will give you the valuable time to get out, stay out and call 999.”

To help keep you and your loved ones safe, follow these tips:

  • Test the batteries in your smoke alarm once a week, even if they’re wired into the mains.
  • Test the smoke alarms of those who are unable to test their own.
  • Make sure you fit at least one smoke alarm on every level of your home.
  • Never remove the batteries from your smoke alarms - unless you are replacing them.
  • Check which type of smoke alarm you have and replace it when needed - this could be every 10 years or even every year.
  • Gently vacuum over the slots of your smoke alarms to remove dust twice a year.
  • Plan and practise an escape route and make sure that everyone in your home knows it.
  • In the event of a fire, get out, stay out and call 999.

People who are moving house or are moving to university in October are advised to contact their housing provider to ensure that that the correct safety measures are in place.

For further information about smoke alarms, visit the Smoke Alarms page of our website.