The New Year resolution that could save your life

Mon 1 Jan, 2018

Are you looking for a New Year resolution that’s easy to stick to and could save lives? Then Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service is inviting you to make 2018 the year you make it part of your routine to check your smoke alarms are working properly.

Chief Fire Officer Jason Thelwell said: “If you look after your smoke alarms, they will look after you. They can give you the extra time you need to escape a fire, but only if they are working.

"While the majority of homes have smoke alarms, there’s a tendency to fit and forget. Also, many people are not aware that the average alarm has a lifespan of 10 years.”

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

Jason’s top tips to help you turn this into your New Year resolution for 2018 are:

  • Test your smoke alarms by pushing the button once a month. Why not circle the first of every month on your new calendar and tick it off when you’ve tested your alarms? 
  • Call in on your less able friends, relatives and neighbours to offer to check theirs.
  • 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.
  • For more detailed advice, read the handy Fire Safety in the Home booklet, produced by the national Fire Kills campaign.