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Make a new year’s resolution: test your smoke alarms every week

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Make a new year’s resolution: test your smoke alarms every week

With the New Year underway, Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service (HWFRS) as part of the Fire Kills campaign are asking people to make testing their smoke alarms weekly one of their New Year's resolutions.

Many people see January as an opportunity for a fresh start, and safety should be top of the list. So this month 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.

Smoke alarms can give someone the few extra seconds they need to escape in a fire. While the majority of homes across the country now have an alarm fitted, most people are not aware that the average alarm has a lifespan of ten years and then needs replacing.

For people who live in a multi-storey home or a larger property a single smoke alarm is not enough. Last year, in nearly half of all fires in the home where the smoke alarm did not give a warning the reason was that the alarm was not close enough to detect the fire. Missing or flat batteries were another major cause.

Station Commander Stu Crebbin, Community Risk, HWFRS said: "At this time of year, many people will be thinking of what they can do – big or small – to make a fresh start and improve their lives, homes and wellbeing. Smoke alarms can offer vital protection for you and your loved ones, but most people simply fit 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:

  • 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.
  • Check that your smoke alarms are less than 10 years old.
  • Fit smoke alarms on landings and hallways and near bedrooms. Also consider in rooms which have electrical appliances – e.g. a heater or charger – or other fire risks.
  • Take a moment to check on your loved ones who may need help to ensure they're fully protected.

He concluded: "For most of us, there is nothing more important than keeping our loved ones 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 would qualify for a check".