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Test your smoke alarms every week!

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

A smoke alarm 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 just ten years and then needs replacing.

For people who live in a multi-storey home or a larger property a single smoke alarm is simply 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.

So HWFRS is asking people to make sure that their alarms are up to date and up to the job.

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 an electrical appliance, eg. a heater, or other risk
  • Take a moment to check on your loved ones who may need help to ensure they're fully protected

Station Commander Alan Haley from 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. A smoke alarm 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.

He continued: "For most of us, there is nothing more important than keeping our loved ones safe and secure. So if your alarm is getting past its best or your top floor is missing an alarm of its own, make your New Year's resolution to fit new ones, test them every week, why not make it on a Tuesday and protect your loved ones in 2015. "

Station Commander Haley concluded by encouraging anyone who is unsure about the smoke alarms they need to contact the Community Safety department for advice and to see if they would qualify for a free Home Fire Safety Check on 0800 032 1155. We are here to help make sure your home is as fire safe as possible."

For further information on fire safety please visit www.hwfire.org.uk or follow@HWFireSafety on Twitter.