Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service (WFRS) is supporting a national fire safety campaign to encourage smoke alarm safety. The campaign, which will run from 12 March to 6 April 2018, will remind people that having working smoke alarms can save their life in the event of a fire in the home, and will encourage people to test their smoke alarms now and then regularly on a monthly basis. Messages will be promoted on the radio, online and on social media platforms.
As part of the national advertising campaign, WFRS is encouraging people in Warwickshire to test the smoke alarms in their home (and those of vulnerable friends/relatives), and if not yet done, purchase and install smoke alarms at every level of the home.
Smoke alarms can give someone the few extra seconds they need to escape in a fire. 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.
A single smoke alarm may simply not be enough. The recommendation is at least one at every level to ensure you can hear them throughout your home, particularly when asleep. 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.
Talking about the campaign, Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service’s Community Fire Safety Manager, Moreno Francioso said: “We know that smoke alarms saves lives. Analysis suggests you are at least eight times more likely to die in a fire in the home if you do not have any working smoke alarms. We’re asking people to make sure that their alarms are up to date and up to the job.
“Don’t forget that for those who may need extra support, a Safe and Well visit by one of our team can be organised by visiting warwickshire.gov.uk/safeandwellvisit. 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 or in bedrooms. Also consider in rooms which have electrical appliances – e.g. a heater or charger – or other fire risks
- 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 ten years
- Take a moment to check on your loved ones who may need help to test their smoke alarms to ensure they’re fully protected
Warwickshire County Councillor Howard Roberts, Portfolio Holder for Fire and Community Safety added “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, fit new ones, test them on the first of every month and protect your loved ones at all times. Press to test, monthly is best.”