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Be alert to alarms for a safer home

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Alarms save lives and, in the event of a fire or carbon monoxide (CO) incident, they can provide precious time to escape.

The National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) and Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service, are highlighting the importance of installing alarms as part of Home Safety Week, which runs from 14 - 20 June.

In 18% of dwelling fires in the UK, smoke alarms fail to activate. The most common reason, around 50% of instances, was because the smoke did not reach the alarm. So, we ask householders to install alarms to ensure the whole home is covered. Smoke alarms should be installed in the rooms used most, this is where a fire is most likely to start.

CO is a highly poisonous gas, which you cannot see, taste or smell. NFCC recommends that any room with a fuel-burning appliance such as an open fire, wood-burning stove or gas appliance such as a boiler or cooker should also have a working CO alarm fitted.

  • install at least one smoke alarm on each level of your home and also in the rooms you use most
  • carbon monoxide alarms should be installed in all rooms where there is fuel-burning appliance
  • test all alarms regularly to make sure they work
  • ensure all appliances are installed and maintained correctly by registered and suitably qualified tradespeople
  • alarms don't last forever, replace them at least every 10 years
  • if you can, interlink alarms

James Bywater, NFCC Lead for Home Detection said: "NFCC want people to think about the risks in their homes, to ensure they take action to prevent incidents and to ensure they have the right detection in the right places to be alert if an incident happens. This might mean installing more smoke alarms in your home, particularly in the rooms used most, and carbon monoxide alarms in all rooms with a fuel-burning appliance. Home detection technology has advanced and products with sealed batteries or interlinked systems are available and as part of your home safety plan may give you and your family precious time to escape."

For the latest up-to-date advice and information about keeping your home safe, please visit the Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service website www.hwfire.org.uk .

Or if you require any fire safety advice, then call the Prevention Team on 0800 032 1155.