Make a New Year’s resolution: test your smoke alarms every month in 2018 – and beyond

With the New Year underway, Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service is asking people to make testing their smoke alarms at least once a month one of their New Year’s resolutions.

Many people see January as an opportunity for a fresh start, and safety should be top of the list. So this month the Service is encouraging everyone to make sure they have enough smoke alarms in the home and that they work. Testing your smoke alarm only takes a moment and could be the difference between life and death should a fire start in your home.

Talking about the request, Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Services Community Fire Safety Manager, Moreno Francioso said: “It is so important to make sure you have working smoke alarms in your home, so we are asking people to make sure they test them at least once a month in 2018! While the majority of homes across the country now have an alarm fitted, most people are not aware that the average alarm has a lifespan of just ten years and then needs replacing. For people who live in a larger property, a single smoke alarm is simply not enough; the recommendation is at least one at every level. Last year, in nearly half of all fires in the home where the smoke alarm did not give a warning the reason was that the alarm was not close enough to detect the fire. Missing or flat batteries were another major cause.”

Warwickshire County Councillor Howard Roberts, Portfolio Holder for Fire and Community Safety added: “At this time of year, many people will be thinking of what they can do – big or small – to make a fresh start and improve their lives, homes and wellbeing. Smoke alarms can offer vital protection for you and your loved ones, but most people simply fit and forget – they don’t know if it might be coming to the end of its lifespan or not working at all. For most of us, there is nothing more important than keeping our loved ones safe and secure. So if your alarm is getting past its best or your top floor is missing an alarm of its own, make your New Year’s resolution to fit new ones, test them on

the first of every month and protect your loved ones in 2018.”

“Additionally, if you or someone you can know would benefit from a Safe and Well visit by one of our team visit: https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/firesafetycheck. During the visit we will provide you with fire safety advice, check that your smoke alarms are working and replace/install new ones if needed.”

To keep your alarms in working order:

  • Make sure there is at least one smoke alarm on every level of your home;
  • Test your smoke alarms by pushing the button every month;
  • Check that your smoke alarms are less than 10 years old;
  • Fit smoke alarms on landings and hallways and near bedrooms. Also consider in rooms which have electrical appliances – e.g. a heater or charger – or other fire risks;
  • Take a moment to check on your loved ones who may need help to ensure they’re fully protected.

For more information about fire safety in the home visit http://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/homefiresafety