Make a new year’s resolution: at least test your smoke alarms on the first of every month in 2014 – and beyond
With the New Year underway, Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service are asking people to make their resolutions in 2014 to make sure that their smoke alarms are up to date, in the right place and that they test them at the very least on the first of every month.
Many people see January as an opportunity for a fresh start, and safety should be top of the list. So this month Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service 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 saves lives.
A smoke alarm 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 multi-storey home or a larger property a single smoke alarm is simply not enough. Last year, in nearly half of all fires in the home in Norfolk 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.
Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service is now asking people to make sure their alarms are up to date and up to the job.
To keep alarms in working order:
- Test the smoke alarm by pushing the button, as a minimum, on the first of every month
- Check the packaging for the smoke alarm to make sure it is still up to date
- In the home make sure there is at least one smoke alarm on every level
- Fit smoke alarms on landings and hallways and in rooms which have an electrical appliance, e.g. a heater, or other risk
- Take a moment to check on your loved ones who may need help to ensure they’re fully protected
Doug Underwood, Community Safety Team Manager at Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service, 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. A smoke alarm 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. So if your alarm is getting past its best or your top floor is missing an alarm of its own purchase a new one. Here in Norfolk we still advocate “Test it Tuesday” as a weekly test is the best. However, we realise that some people can’t do that and for those we want them to make a New Year’s resolution to fit new ones, test them on the first of every month and protect their loved ones in 2014.”