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Be alert to alarms

Alarms save lives, and in the event of a fire or carbon monoxide (CO) incident they can provide precious time to escape. Which is why Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service will be highlighting the importance of installing alarms as part of Home Safety Week (14th - 20th June).

Smoke alarms failed to activate in 18% of all accidental dwelling fires in the UK, with the most common reason (around 50% of instances) being because the smoke did not reach the alarm. This highlights the importance of installing alarms to ensure the whole home is covered, including rooms that are used most as this is where a fire is most likely to start.

Station Manager Steve Ratcliffe said: “The minimum requirement is for a smoke alarm to be fitted on each floor of your home, but we’d strongly recommend you also fit them in the rooms you use most, such as living rooms, bedrooms and dining rooms for extra protection.

“Where you place your alarms is also important to make sure the smoke reaches to activate them; they should be placed on the ceiling, in the middle of a room.

“If you don’t have smoke alarms, or they’re 10 years old and need replacing, you can easily pick some up from your local DIY store or supermarket – just look out for the British Standard Kitemark.”

CO is a highly poisonous gas, which you cannot see, taste or smell. So, we would recommend that any room with a fuel burning appliance such as an open fire, wood burning stove or gas appliance (such as a boiler or cooker) should also have a working CO alarm fitted.

To help you stay safe at home, here are some top tips:

  • Install at least one smoke alarm on each level of your home and also in the rooms you use most – you could also install heat alarms in kitchens and bathrooms to avoid steam accidentally setting them off.
  • Carbon monoxide alarms should be installed in all rooms where there is fuel burning appliance.
  • Test all alarms once a week to make sure they work.
  • Never disconnect or take the batteries out of your alarms.
  • Ensure all appliances are installed and maintained correctly by registered and suitably qualified tradespeople.
  • Alarms don't last forever, replace them at least every 10 years.
  • Ensure you have a planned and practiced escape route.
  • If a fire were to break out, Get Out, Stay Out and Call 999.

Strobe light and vibrating pad alarms are available for those who are deaf or hard of hearing. Contact the Royal Institute for Deaf People Information Line on 0808 808 0123.

For more information visit our website, or follow us on social media @DerbyshireFRS.