Smoke alarms are one of the best ways of preventing deaths and injuries in house fires. If a fire does start, smoke alarms can give you an early warning, giving you the vital extra seconds needed to escape. But smoke alarms only save lives if they are working properly. To ensure your smoke alarms are working when you need them:
- Test regularly by holding down the ‘test’ button until it beeps
- Change the battery when the low battery warning operates
- Make sure they are free from dust and dirt
Frequently asked questions about smoke alarms:
I don’t have any smoke alarms in my house. Where can I get them?
You can buy them from most supermarkets and DIY shops, from as little as £5, or you may be able to get them through one of our home safety checks. Click here to request a visit and see if you are eligible.
I’ve bought some smoke alarms. Where should I put them?
You should have smoke alarms on every level of your home. They should be placed on the ceiling, preferably in the middle of the room. Don’t put them on walls, as they won’t work as well.
How do I test my smoke alarms?
Hold down the ‘test’ button until it beeps. If nothing happens, you probably need to change the batteries. You should use a broom handle, or something similar, if you can’t reach.
My smoke alarms keeps beeping even though there is no fire. What should I do?
This probably means that your smoke alarm needs new batteries. If you have an alarm fitted with a 10 year battery, these can’t be replaced, so you will need to replace the whole alarm.
My smoke alarms go off really easily. What should I do?
If your smoke alarms are set off really easily, for example by burnt toast or steam, you might want to think about moving your smoke alarms so that they aren’t directly over things like toasters or next to bathrooms as steam can damage the alarm, or set it off by mistake. Please don’t remove the batteries or cover the alarm up, as this means it won’t be able to raise the alarm when you really need it.
There is a fault with my smoke alarm. Can you help?
If you think there is a problem with your smoke alarms, you should contact the manufacturer explaining that you think there is something wrong with your alarms. If the alarms were fitted by firefighters or fire service staff, you can also call us for advice on 0114 253 2314.
I have hardwired smoke alarms connected to my mains electricity. How do I know they are working?
These often have a ‘test’ button for you to check that they are working properly. If you don’t think they are working properly, you need to contact the company that installed them.
What other safety equipment can I get for my home?
A significant proportion of fires occur in the kitchen. Additional fire suppression technology which confirms to EN 50615 standard is also available and provides protection from fires on stoves.
There is a range of additional safety equipment available for your home, should you need it. You should contact your local council for more information on this.