Is your smoke alarm past its sell by date?
Most people are not aware that the average smoke alarm has a lifespan of ten years and then needs replacing.
Smoke alarms can give someone the few extra seconds that they need to escape in a fire, and the majority of homes in the country now have one fitted.
But fitting a smoke alarm and forgetting it is not an option as taking care of yours could save your life. That's why Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service (HWFRS) is asking people to check the age of their smoke alarms and to get into the good habit of testing them weekly.
Safety should be key for all of us so HWFRS is encouraging everyone to make sure they have enough smoke alarms in the home and that they work. It only takes a few seconds and saves lives.
For people who live in a multi-storey home or a larger property a single smoke alarm is not enough. Last year, nearly half of all fires in the home, where the smoke alarm did not give a warning, were caused by the alarm not being close enough to detect the fire. Missing or flat batteries were another major cause.
Group Commander Mick Cadman, from HWFRS Community Risk said: "Smoke alarms can offer vital protection for you and your loved ones, but most people simply fit them and forget – they don't know if it might be coming to the end of its lifespan or not working at all."
To keep your alarms in working order:
- check that your smoke alarms are less than 10 years old
- make sure there is at least one smoke alarm on every level of your home
- test your smoke alarms by pushing the button every week
- fit smoke alarms on landings and hallways and near bedrooms. Also consider rooms which have electrical appliances – eg a heater or charger, or other fire risks
- take a moment to check on those closest to you who may need help to ensure they're fully protected.
He concluded: "For most of us, there is nothing more important than keeping those we love safe and secure. If you have a family friend, or a relative that would benefit from a free Home Fire Safety Check then give us a call on 0800 032 1155 quoting reference NEWS to see if they qualify for a check."