How many smoke alarms do you have in your home?
It is clear that most people know a working smoke alarm can save lives by providing those vital few seconds needed to escape a house fire. But, despite the majority of homes (88%) having at least one working smoke alarm in their home, smoke alarms alerted householders to a fire in England in only a third of cases. The most common reason a smoke alarm failed to activate was because the fire was outside its range.
For this reason, the Fire Kills campaign and Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service (HWFRS) are encouraging people across the two counties to have a think about the smoke alarms in their home.
Station Commander Alan Haley, Community Safety department said “We must all make sure that we have enough smoke alarms to cover our whole homes. If you don’t have enough, or they’re not in the right place, you might not be alerted in time. “The vast majority of us now have at least one smoke alarm in our homes, but early detection and warning is vital to reduce the devastation a house fire can cause. That’s why it’s so important that you have enough smoke alarms and that they are in the right place to have the best chance of alerting you and your loved ones to a fire.”
Station Commander Haley continued; “You should make sure you have at least one working smoke alarm on every level of your home, preferably in hallways and landings. Placing smoke detectors near to sleeping areas and in rooms where there are electrical appliances could give you the extra warning you need.
“It’s also important to remember that smoke alarms don’t last forever. The power might work, but the mechanism deteriorates with time. So whether they are battery operated or wired to the mains, to work at their best they should be replaced every ten years.”
HWFRS offered these five smoke alarm top tips:
- Install a smoke alarm at least on every level of your home.
- 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.
- Don’t put alarms in or near kitchens and bathrooms where smoke or steam can set them off by accident.
- Replace your smoke alarms every ten years.
- Station Commander Haley also urged carers and people who keep a close eye on less able relatives to check that these homes have enough smoke alarms in the right places too.
“And finally,” added Station Commander Haley “don’t forget to test your smoke alarms on a weekly basis”.