How many smoke alarms do you have?

How many smoke alarms do you have?

Published at 5:42am 14th August 2019.

Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue say one may not be enough to give you time to escape a fire at home.

Our Fire and Rescue Service has these five smoke alarm top tips:

  • A single smoke alarm is not enough - install at least one smoke alarm 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 area
  • 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

Most people know that working smoke alarms save lives. They provide the vital early warning that allows for a safe escape a tragedy avoided.

A smoke alarm installed on the ceiling of a home, alongside the opening to the staircase which leads upstairs.
We all must make sure we have enough smoke alarms in our homes and that they're in the right places.

ARE YOUR SMOKE ALARMS IN THE RIGHT PLACES?

But, despite the majority of homes (95 per cent) having at least one working smoke alarm, smoke alarms only alerted householders to just one in every three fires in the home in England.

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 Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service are encouraging people to have a think about the smoke alarms in their home.

Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Fire engines parked in a road.
Dorset and Wiltshire Fire Service offer free safe and well advice to local residents.

READ MORE:

Only last month Spire FM News told you how a working smoke alarm saved the lives of a family in Salisbury.

THE EXTRA WARNING YOU NEED:

Vikki Thomas, Safe and Well Manager from Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service said:

"We all must make sure that we have enough smoke alarms in our homes and that they are in the right places. If your whole home isn't covered, you could be leaving it to chance and, in a fire, you might not get the early warning that you need."

"The vast majority of us now have at least one working smoke alarm in our home, but early detection and warning is vital to reduce the devastation a fire can cause. That's why it's so important that you have enough smoke alarms and that they are in the right places. That will give them the best chance of alerting you and your loved ones to a fire."

Vikki also said:

"You should make sure you have at least one smoke alarm on every level of your home, preferably in hallways and landings.  And 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 detection 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.  Don't forget to test your smoke alarms regularly.  They can only do their job if they're in good working order."

WATCH:

This video from the Fire Kills campaign gives a pretty chilling idea of how easily a tragedy could happen...

MAINTAIN YOUR SMOKE ALARM:

To keep them in good working order, you should:

  • Test them once a week, by pressing the test button until the alarm sounds
  • Change the batteries once a year (unless mains powered or fitted with a ten year battery)
  • Replace the whole unit every ten years
  • Clean smoke alarms every three months by using the soft brush of your vacuum cleaner to remove any excess dust

SMOKE ALARM HELP AND ADVICE:

Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service are also urging 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. 
  
Dorset and Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service offer free safe and well advice to local residents, and those who qualify can receive a home visit from a safe and well adviser, which can include fitting smoke alarms where appropriate.

HOW TO APPLY?

Call 0800 038 2323

Check the Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service website for help with smoke alarms.

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