Check your smoke alarms on the first of the month

Sun 31 May, 2015

It's the first of the month tomorrow (1 June), and time for firefighters to encourage you to think about your smoke alarms!

Richard Priest, head of Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service's community safety team, said: "While the majority of homes have smoke alarms, there’s a tendency to fit and forget.

"Smoke alarms won't give you the few extra seconds you need to escape from a fire if they aren't working, so you need to test them from time to time.

"If you look after your smoke alarms, they will look after you."

Here are Richard's top tips:

  • Test your smoke alarms by pushing the button at least once a month. Why not circle the first of every month on your calendar, and tick it off when you’ve tested your alarms?
  • If you prefer to test them every week, choose a regular day and time. Many people take part in a weekly initiative called 'Test It Tuesday'.
  • If your battery-operated smoke alarms are 10 or more years old, it’s time to get new ones. 
  • Make sure there is at least one smoke alarm on every level of your home. Fit them on landing and hallway ceilings, at least 30 centimetres (12 inches) away from any wall or light fitting, and in rooms which have an electrical appliance.
  • Work out what your best escape routes would be in the event of a fire, and make sure everyone in your home knows them.
  • Carry out a bedtime check every night to reduce the risk of a fire starting while you're asleep.
  • Call in on your less able friends, relatives and neighbours from time to time to make sure they’re fully protected.
  • For more detailed advice, read the handy Fire Safety in the Home booklet produced by the national Fire Kills campaign.

Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service offers free safety checks to identify potential fire risks in your home and help you minimise them. The checks include free smoke alarms and free installation. Ring 01296 744477 or email