Smoke alarms can be lifesavers, if they are working. In fact, you are nine times more likely to die in a fire in the home if you don't have working smoke alarms. A fire can destroy sentimental and material possessions and have a devastating impact on people.
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.
Follow these smoke alarm 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 or near sleeping areas
- Don't put alarms in or near kitchens and bathrooms where smoke or steam could set them off accidentally - heat alarms can be installed in kitchens instead.
- Standard battery operated smoke alarms are cheapest. The batteries need to be replaced every year.
- 10-year sealed battery smoke alarms cost slightly more but you save the cost of replacing the battery every year.
- Make sure the alarms can be heard from areas where people may fall asleep - make sure you have working smoke alarms in the rooms you use the most.
- Test your smoke alarms EVERY WEEK and replace them every 10 years
If you don't have working smoke alarms, call us on 0800 731 5958 - you may be eligible for the free fitting of smoke alarms.
Don't ignore a sounding smoke alarm - even if it isn't yours.
If you hear a smoke alarm go off in a neighbour's property, check it out and call 999 immediately if you suspect a fire. Those vital few seconds could help save a life. DO NOT try and enter the property yourselves if you think there is a fire.
Get out, stay out and call 999 immediately.
Look out for your elderly friends, neighbours and relatives
You can look after your friends, neighbours and relatives by calling 0800 731 5958 to arrange a free Home Fire Safety Check and to ask for fire safety advice.
Many residents on Merseyside will be eligible for the fitting of free smoke alarms, particularly those over the age of 65 and anyone who is referred to us by one of our partner agencies.
Requesting a visit can be particularly important in the case of an elderly or vulnerable friend or relative, or someone who may have mobility issues or sensory impairment.
Do you live in a rented property?
The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms (Amendment) Regulations 2022 came into force on 1st October 2022. As part of the regulations, landlords must:
1. Ensure at least one smoke alarm is equipped on each storey of their homes where there is a room used as living accommodation. This has been a legal requirement in the private rented sector since 2015.
2. Ensure a carbon monoxide alarm is equipped in any room used as living accommodation which contains a fixed combustion appliance (excluding gas cookers).
3. Ensure smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms are repaired or replaced once informed and found that they are faulty.
The requirements are enforced by local authorities who can impose a fine of up to £5,000 where a landlord fails to comply with a remedial notice.