New Year’s Resolution – Test your smoke alarms

Make a new year’s resolution: Install smoke alarms and test every week in 2018 – and beyond.

With the New Year underway, Cleveland Fire Brigade is asking people to ensure they have working smoke alarms and to test them weekly as one of their New Year’s resolutions.

Shockingly, of the 147 accidental house fires Cleveland Fire Brigade attended last year, 40% of homes didn’t have smoke alarms. Smoke, the silent killer, is responsible for over half of all deaths in accidental fires in the home. Working smoke alarms can give people the wake-up call they need to escape.

Many people see January as an opportunity for a fresh start, and safety should be top of the list. So this month Cleveland Fire Brigade is encouraging everyone to make sure they have enough smoke alarms in the home and that they work. It only takes a few seconds and can saves lives.

Smoke alarms can give someone the few extra seconds they need to escape in a fire. While 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.

For people who live in a larger property, a single smoke alarm is simply not enough. The recommendation is at least one at every level.  Last year, in nearly half of all fires in the home where the smoke alarm did not give a warning the reason was that the alarm was not close enough to detect the fire.  Missing or flat batteries were another major cause.

Cleveland Fire Brigade is asking people to make sure that their alarms are up to date and up to the job.

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 #TestItTuesday;
  • Check that your smoke alarms are less than 10 years old;
  • Fit smoke alarms on landings and hallways and near bedrooms.  Also consider 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.

Phil Lancaster, Director of Community Protection said:

“At this time of year, many people will be thinking of what they can do – big or small – to make a fresh start and improve their lives, homes and wellbeing.  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, make your New Year’s resolution to fit new ones, test them every week and protect your loved ones in 2018.”