Will you hear your alarm beep if you're asleep?

Sun 4 May, 2014

Firefighters are supporting a 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 the majority of 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 reason a smoke alarm fails to activate is because the fire is outside its range

Neil Boustred, head of Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service's community safety team, said: “The vast majority of us now have at least one smoke alarm in our homes, but early detection and warning are vital to reduce the devastation a house fire can cause.

"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.”

Neil 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.
  • Replace your smoke alarms every 10 years as the mechanism gradually deteriorates.
  • Don’t forget to test your smoke alarms regularly - at least once a month, or every Tuesday if you are part of the national 'Test It Tuesday' initiative.

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 send an email to cs@bucksfire.gov.uk.