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Smoke alarms

The easiest way to protect your home and family from fire is with a smoke alarm.

  • You're twice as likely to die in a fire if you don't have a smoke alarm that works.
  • 90 people die each year because the battery in their smoke alarm was flat or missing.

Choosing your smoke alarms

There are a variety of different models to choose from and they are available from DIY stores, electrical stores and most high street supermarkets.  Your local Fire & Rescue Service will be happy to give you advice on which one is best suited for you.

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.

Look out for one of the symbols below, which shows the alarm is approved and safe.

Smoke alarm symbols

Make sure your smoke alarm works

  • Never disconnect or take the batteries out of your alarm if it goes off by mistake
  • Standard battery operated alarms are the cheapest option, but the batteries need to be replaced every year.
  • A lot of people forget to check the batteries, so longer life batteries are better
  • An alarm with ten-year batteries in the best option
  • Main powered alarms are powered by your home power supply. Generally they don't need replaceable batteries, but need to be installed by a qualified electrician.
  • Alarms that plug into a light socket use a rechargeable battery which is charged when the light is on.
  • You can even have linked alarms installed, so that when one alarm detects a fire they all go off together. This is useful if you live in a large house or over several levels.

Test the batteries in your smoke alarm every week.
Never remove them.

Fitting your smoke alarm

  • The minimum requirement is for a smoke alarm to be fitted on each floor of your home.
  • It is strongly recommended for additional protection that smoke alarms are fitted within other rooms such as bedrooms, lounge and dining rooms. 
  • The ideal position is on the ceiling, in the middle of a room, or in the hallway and landing, so you can hear the alarm throughout your home.
  • Don't put alarms in or near kitchens or bathrooms where smoke or steam can set them off by accident.
  • If it is difficult for you to fit your alarm yourself contact your local Fire and Rescue Service for help. They'll be happy to install it for you.
Smoke alarm diagram

Looking after your smoke alarm

  • Make checking your smoke alarm part of your regular household routine.
  • Test it by pressing the button until the alarm sounds. If it doesn't sound, you need to replace the battery.
  • If your smoke alarm starts to beep on a regular basis, you need to replace the battery immediately.
  • If it is a ten year alarm, you will need to replace the whole alarm every ten years.

Disposal of smoke alarms

Waste electrical products should not be disposed of with your household waste. Smoke Alarms are ideally suitable to be disposed of at waste electronic and electrical equipment (WEEE) recycling sites. Please recycle them where facilities exist.

If in doubt always check with your local authority, retailer or alarm manufacturers.

Owners of Fire Angel smoke alarms can return alarms for disposal to Fire Angel at:

Fire Angel Limited, 
Vanguard Centre, 
Sir William Lyons Road, 
Coventry, 
CV4 7EZ

For further details please contact Fire Angel on 0800 141 2561 or via email at technicalsupport@fireangel.co.uk

You are far less likely to have a fire in your home if you read our fire safety in the home page.