“The vast majority of us now have at least one smoke alarm in our homes,” said Pete Wilson, Head of Community Safety for West Midlands Fire Service. “Early detection and warning is vital, to reduce the devastation a house fire can cause."
“If you’re spring cleaning or moving house at the moment, it’s the perfect time to have a think about the alarms you’ve got fitted, and check you know how they work. You should have at least one smoke alarm on every level of your home, preferably in hallways and on landings.
“It’s also important to remember that smoke alarms don’t last forever. The power might be OK, but the mechanism deteriorates with time. So whether they’re battery operated or mains-wired, to work at their best they should be replaced every ten years.”
West Midlands Fire Service is urging people to make sure that their household smoke alarms are fitted in the best places.
One of the main reasons for smoke alarms not going off when there is a fire is because they are too far away - meaning people could be depriving themselves of vital seconds to get out of their home and call 999.
West Midlands Fire Service are asking carers and people who keep an eye on less able relatives, friends and neighbours to check that they have enough smoke alarms fitted in the right places and that they work.
Some smoke alarm-fitting tips:
install one on every level of your home, and test them weekly (even if mains-powered)
the ideal position is on the ceiling - in the middle of a room, or on a hallway or landing
consider fitting alarms in other rooms where there are electrical appliances
don’t put alarms in or near kitchens and bathrooms where smoke or steam can set them off by accident