Detection - Smoke Alarms Save Lives

You're 3 times more likely to die in a house fire if you don't have a working smoke alarm. It's a fact.

There are around 63,000 house fires in the UK every year. Around 500 people are killed and 14,000 people are injured, every year.

If you have a fire in your home, a smoke alarm will buy you valuable time. Time to put your escape plan into action. Time to get your family to safety.

Smoke Alarm
Why should you buy one?

• Not having one could cost you or your family their life.
• 500 lives are lost and thousands of people are injured in UK house fires each year.
• If a fire occurs in your home it can rapidly engulf your house with smoke and flames.

A smoke alarm gives you those precious minutes to put your fire plan into action and get you and your family to safety.

Remember - a smoke alarm buys you valuable time.

Where should your smoke alarm be sited?

If your home is on one level you should fit the alarm in the hallway between the living and sleeping areas.

If your home has more than one floor, one alarm should be fitted at the bottom of each staircase and an alarm on each upstairs landing.

Fitting a Smoke Alarm

Fitting a smoke alarm is simple - they should be fitted onto the ceiling within 7 metres of the door to the living room or kitchen (but not too near the kitchen door to avoid accidental operation) and within 3 metres of the door to a bedroom.

Keep the alarm at least 300mm away from any wall, light or heating/air-conditioning outlet.
Always check that the alarm can be heard from all areas of your house. If not, reposition your alarm or fit additional alarms.

Checking your Smoke Alarm

Once a week, press the test button to check that the alarm sounds.
If the alarm does not work try fitting a new battery.
If the alarm still does not work check the battery is fitted correctly and if still not working, replace the smoke alarm with a new one.
Change the battery once a year, or sooner if required.

Clean the alarm

The outer and inner casings of battery operated alarms should be lightly vacuumed at least once a year, preferably when you change the battery. The outer casing of mains operated alarms should be lightly vacuumed at least once a year.

Most of the regional Fire and Rescue services offer a  FREE Home Fire Safety Visit today, please call contact your local fire station to arrange your free visit.  . By taking this action now, you could save someone’s life.

Elderly and people with additional support needs

Your local fire-fighters will know of groups that can give advice and help in supplying and fitting safety equipment for elderly people and people with additional support needs.

There are mains powered smoke alarms that have back-up batteries, and vibrating pads and/or flashing lights that warn people with hearing impairments.

Always fit a smoke alarm in the bedroom of a person who smokes in bed, or who uses an electric blanket.

And people who may need assistance in escaping in a fire must be able to call for help. Systems that can be used include: 

• Buzzer or intercom,
• Telephone with an automatically dialled emergency number, or
• Private or local authority assistance alert scheme.