Staying at home? Don’t forget fire safety

Smoke alarm

‘Remember smoke alarms and fire safety’ is the message from Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service, as many in the population face a period of more time spent in their homes.

With many people self-isolating following advice on social distancing or as a precaution against Coronavirus, this means basic, domestic fire safety is as important as ever.

The Fire Service is asking that, if you know an elderly or vulnerable person facing the prospect of more limited social contact in the coming weeks, speak to them and make sure they have smoke alarms in place and that these have been tested.

Clutter, storing more items than usual and hoarding can also cause problems in a fire, blocking exits and escape routes, so please make sure these are kept clear.

Prevention Team Leader Tina Collett said: “The following weeks and months are going to be such a challenging time for families and individuals around the country.

“What we want to do in the Fire Service is ensure people who are spending more time at home also remember the importance of fire safety. Make sure you and you loved ones have at least one smoke alarm on every floor of your home (preferably in hallways and landings) and check them at least once a month. Working smoke alarms can save lives in the event of a fire.

“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.”

People are reminded that the Fire Service is on hand to give advice and people can contact us if they are concerned about fire safety. To contact NFRS, ring 01604 797000.

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.
  • Remember – if there is a fire, get out, stay out and call 999.
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