Fire Service urges people to check they have enough working smoke alarms

Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service (MFRS) is urging residents across the county have a think about the placement of their smoke alarms, with statistics showing that one smoke alarm may not be enough to provide you with the best chance of escaping a fire in the home.

Most people know that working smoke alarms save lives. They provide the vital early warning that allows for a safe escape. But, despite 95% of homes having at least one working smoke alarm, smoke alarms only alerted householders to just one in every three fires in the home in England. The most common reason for a smoke alarm failing to activate was because the fire was outside of its range.

For this reason, MFRS is supporting the Fire Kills Campaign and encouraging people across Merseyside to have a think about the smoke alarms in their homes.

Mark Thomas, Group Manager for Prevention at MFRS, said: “We all must make sure that we have enough smoke alarms in our homes and that they are in the right places. If your whole home isn’t covered, you could be leaving it to chance and, in a fire, you might not get the early warning that you need.

“The vast majority of us now have at least one working smoke alarm in our home, but early detection and warning is vital to reduce the devastation a fire can cause. That’s why it’s so important that you have enough smoke alarms and that they are in the right places. That will give them the best chance of alerting you and your loved ones to a fire.”

At least one smoke alarm should be installed on every level of the home, preferably in hallways and landings. Placing smoke alarms near to sleeping areas and in rooms where there are electrical appliances could give you the extra warning you need.

GM Thomas added: “It’s also important to remember that smoke alarms don’t last forever. The power might work, but the detection mechanism deteriorates with time. So, whether they are battery operated or wired to the mains, to work at their best they should be replaced every 10 years.”

Follow these five smoke alarm top tips:

• A single smoke alarm is not enough - install at least one smoke alarm on every level of your home.
• The ideal position is on the ceiling, in the middle of a room or on a hallway or landing.
• Consider fitting additional 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 ten years.

MFRS is also urging carers and people who keep a close eye on less able relatives to check that these homes have enough smoke alarms in the right places too.

GM Thomas added: “Don’t forget to test your smoke alarms regularly. They can only do their job if they’re in good working order. If you hear a smoke alarm sounding and believe that there is a fire call 999 without delay”

For free fire safety advice, or to arrange a Home Fire Safety Check, please call 0800 731 5958.