Smoke alarm testing promoted in new Fire Kills campaign

Residents are being reminded that smoke alarms save lives.  

As part of its Fire Kills campaign, Oxfordshire County Council’s Fire and Rescue Service is asking people to test their smoke alarms as part of a regular household routine.

Councillor Judith Heathcoat, Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Safety, said: “Fire safety should be a priority for every resident. They should ensure they have enough smoke alarms in the home and that they work. Smoke alarms can give the vital extra seconds warning needed to escape a fire.

“Fire kills. Please take sensible safety precautions by fitting and regularly testing smoke alarms.”

While the majority of homes across the country now have alarms fitted, most people are not aware that the average alarm has a lifespan of just ten years and then needs replacing.

Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service is asking people to make sure that their alarms are up to date and up to the job.

To keep alarms effective in working order:

  • Make sure there is at least one smoke alarm on every level of the home.
  • Test your smoke alarms by pushing the button at least once a month.
  • Check that the smoke alarms are less than 10 years old.
  • Change the batteries every year. Never remove them to use in other electrical items.
  • Fit smoke alarms in the right place – on landings and hallways, as well as in rooms that are used regularly, such as rooms that are being used by a vulnerable person as a bedroom. Also consider fitting them in rooms that contain electrical appliances, such as a heater or a phone charger.
  • Take a moment to check on loved ones who may need help to ensure they are fully protected with working smoke alarms.

Kevin Morgan, Community Safety Manager for Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “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, fit new ones, test them at least once a month and protect your loved ones.”

For further advice on fire safety visit www.365alive.co.uk email community.safety@oxfordshire.gov.uk or call 01865 895999.