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Only Working Smoke Alarms Save Lives

You're twice as likely to die in a fire if you don't have a smoke alarm that works.

This is why Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service is asking people to test their smoke alarms weekly and make testing them part of their regular household routine in conjunction with the Fire Kills campaign.

Throughout March, the Service will also be highlighting the importance of making sure smoke alarms are up to date and up to the job.

Working smoke alarms provide a vital early warning of a fire, allowing you to Get Out, Stay Out and Call 999.

Prevention Station Manager Nic Lacey 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 why not circle every Tuesday on your calendar and tick it off when you have tested your alarms? It only takes a few seconds - only working smoke alarms save lives.

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

Station Manager Lacey added: “90 people die each year because the battery in their smoke alarm was flat or missing. So, if your alarm is getting past its best or your top floor is missing an alarm of its own, it’s incredibly important to fit new ones to protect your loved ones too.”

Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service is encouraging everyone to make fire safety a priority by ensuring they have enough smoke alarms in the home and that they work. To keep your alarms in working order:

  • Make sure there is at least one smoke alarm on every level of your home
  • Test your smoke alarms by pushing the button every week
  • Check that your smoke alarms are less than 10 years old
  • Change the batteries every year. Never remove them.
  • Fit smoke alarms in the right place - on landings and hallways and near bedrooms.  Also consider fitting them in rooms which have electrical appliances – e.g. a heater or charger – or other fire risks
  • Take a moment to check on your loved ones who may need help to ensure they’re fully protected