Make some time for the unsung heroes in your home!

Mon 11 Jan, 2016

A new national smoke alarm-testing campaign has been launched today (Monday 11 January) which firefighters hope will change the way you look at the ‘unsung heroes’ in your home.

Insight has shown that many people don’t like their smoke alarms because they sometimes go off when the toaster is being used, or beep in the middle of the night when the battery is low.

In fact, research carried out last year to help determine people’s attitudes to smoke alarms revealed that the ceiling-mounted life-savers were less popular than journalist and TV personality Piers Morgan.

The new approach will focus on the positive impact smoke alarms have, and encourage people to pay more attention to them by testing their alarms once a month.

Richard Priest, head of Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service’s community safety team, said: “This is a timely campaign as nationally there is an increase in fire-related emergencies and deaths over the winter months, compared to the rest of the year. 

“A working smoke alarm can buy you valuable time to get out, stay out and call 999 in the event of a fire. But only half of all householders who own smoke alarms say that they test they are working on a regular basis.

"Many have indicated that they feel the weekly tests we have encouraged in the past are too frequent and that they simply can't get into the habit. 

"All we are asking is for people to set aside a small amount of time every month to look after their smoke alarms.

"We would also like to encourage you to offer to do this for a relative, friend or neighbour if you think they could benefit from a little help."

Richard is urging people to: 

  • Make sure you have smoke alarms on every level of your home.
  • Check your smoke alarms work by pressing their ‘test’ buttons once a month.
  • Change the batteries once a year if your smoke alarms have removable batteries.
  • Clean the casing around your smoke alarms twice a year to ensure dust isn't blocking the sensors.
  • Make sure everyone in your home knows what to do in a fire and knows the escape route.

If you live in Buckinghamshire or Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service will carry out a free Home Fire Risk Check in your home, fitting free smoke alarms where needed. Ring 01296 744477 or email to book one.