Firefighters support month-long smoke alarm campaign

Wed 1 Mar, 2017

Firefighters are supporting a month-long national campaign to encourage people who have fitted their own smoke alarms to think about whether they have put them in the right places - and whether they need more of them.

Government figures show that although most homes in England (88 per cent) have at least one working smoke alarm, they don’t always alert householders to a fire. 

The most common reasons a smoke alarm fails to activate are because of a missing or flat battery, or because the fire is outside its range.

Richard Priest, head of Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service's community safety team, said: “Early detection and warning are a vital part of keeping people safe from fire.

"We’re asking people to think about where their smoke alarm is placed, and whether they need another in their home to ensure they have the time to get out, stay out and call 999.”

Richard is also urging carers and people who keep a close eye on less able relatives to check that their homes have enough smoke alarms in the right places too.

He offered these tips:

  • Install a smoke alarm on every level of your home. The ideal position is on the ceiling in the middle of a room, or in a hallway or landing.
  • Consider fitting alarms in other rooms where there are electrical appliances, and near sleeping areas.
  • Don’t put alarms in or near kitchens and bathrooms where smoke or steam can set them off by accident.
  • If any of your smoke alarms have a one-year battery, make sure it is changed every year. Only take the battery out when you need to replace it.
  • Replace your smoke alarms every 10 years as the mechanism gradually deteriorates.
  • Don’t forget to test your smoke alarms at least once a month.

Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service will carry out a free safety check in your home, fitting free smoke alarms where they are needed. To book one of these checks, ring 01296 744477 or email