Working smoke alarms save lives – test yours and those of your loved ones every month

It’s easy to forget the important job our smoke alarms do when they beep while we’re cooking, or to let us know they’re running out of battery. The noisy devices we sometimes wish wouldn’t go off really can help save our lives and a simple press of their button once a month lets us know that they are in good working order.

There were over 200 deaths from fires in the home last year and research shows that you are seven times more likely to survive if you have working smoke alarms.

The Fire Kills campaign is encouraging people to test their smoke alarms and those of people they care for, to help prevent fire-related deaths.

Following these simple steps can help keep you and your loved ones safe

  1. Test your smoke alarms by pressing their buttons once a month and change their batteries once a year if they have removable batteries. If your parent or relative has a regular visit from a carer (either from a local authority or a private care company), ask them to test the smoke alarms, too.
  2. If an alarm doesn’t beep when you test it, replace the battery or replace the alarm.
  • Make sure there is at least one working smoke alarm on each floor of your property
  • Never remove the batteries in your smoke alarms unless you are replacing them.
  • Make sure that everyone in your home knows what to do in a fire and knows the escape route. Get out, stay out and call 999.

An early warning is vital to enable people to escape in a fire – especially for those with mobility, sight or hearing issues.  The products below are widely available and make fire safety accessible to all:

  • Vibrating smoke alarms for the hard of hearing
  • Easy-reach smoke alarm testers are available for those with limited movement
  • Linked alarm systems which give early warning of a fire, wherever it is in the building

You can find further fire safety information and advice for people with mobility, sight or hearing issues in this leaflet.

If you are a carer, you can help reduce the risk of fire by:

  • Making sure you close internal doors at night
  • Looking for electrical risks such as frayed wires
  • Ensuring electric plug sockets are not overloaded
  • Unplugging appliances such as heaters and electric blankets when they’re not in use

Your smoke alarms are there to help you – it only takes one press to help it do its job.

Give yourself and your family a safer festive season. Remember: Press to test. Monthly is best

If you are concerned about the fire safety of your older parent/relative or person you care for, you can contact your local fire and rescue authority on their behalf (with their permission) to request a home fire safety visit for that person. Contact details for your local fire and rescue authority can be found by inputting their postcode here: Fire/rescue services


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