Smoke alarms can save lives – remember to check yours

‘Install at least one smoke alarm on every level of your home and make sure they are working,’ is the message from fire officers in Northamptonshire.
This month’s national fire campaign focus, led by the Home Office and the National Fire Chiefs Council, is smoke alarm testing; a subject which Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service (NFRS) is proud to support.
Making sure smoke alarms are working by testing them at least once a month can help earn someone vital extra time in which to escape in the event of a fire.
Tina Collett, Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service District Liaison Officer, said: “It is very important people do what they can to keep themselves and those they care for as safe as possible from fire.
“It’s also important to remember that enough smoke alarms need to be in place to cover an entire home.
“People should make sure they have at least one smoke alarm on every level of their home, preferably in hallways and landings. Placing smoke detectors near to sleeping areas and in rooms where there are electrical appliances could give people the extra warning they need.
“It’s also vital 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, it is advisable to have them replaced every 10 years.
“We would also urge people to keep a close eye on less able relatives to check their homes have enough smoke alarms in the right places too.”
Another important message is to remember to take action if a smoke alarm is going off in a neighbour’s house. It may be a false alarm, but if you know there is a fire, or if you are not sure and aren’t able to safely establish if there is one or not, please call 999.

Top tips to installing smoke alarms:

  • Install at least one smoke alarm on every level of your home.
  • The ideal position for an alarm 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 areas.
  • Replace your smoke alarms every 10 years.
  • Make sure everyone in your family knows the escape plan for your home, in case of fire. Keep exits uncluttered.
  • Make testing your smoke alarm part of your regular routine. Test it at least once a month by pressing the button. Make sure batteries are replaced as needed.
  • If your smoke alarm starts to beep on a regular basis, you need to replace the battery immediately.
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