The easiest and best way to protect yourself and your family from fire is with a smoke alarm. We know that you are seven times more likely to die in a fire if you don’t have working smoke alarms in your home so we advise you to:

  • Fit at least one alarm on every level of your home.
  • Test your alarms weekly; use a broom handle or walking stick if you cannot reach them.
  • If your alarm starts to emit a regular ‘chirp’, replace the battery or detector immediately.
  • Clean your alarms regularly, using your vacuum cleaner or a feather duster, to remove excessive dust.
  • Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for further advice.
  • Offer to test the smoke alarms of any older family members, neighbours, or friends who may need help to do so.

The above advice is suitable for small single private dwellings. It may be you reside in a larger house or flat that may require a more sophisticated interlinked fire alarm system. If in any doubt please contact your local fire safety department for advice.

Firefighter fitting smoke alarm.

Fires can start anywhere, so the more smoke alarms that are fitted, the higher the level of protection.

  • Smoke alarms should always be placed where they can be heard throughout your home – particularly when you are asleep. They should also be placed in any room where you have a large electrical appliance such as a television.
  • If your home is on one level i.e. a flat or a bungalow, you should fit the alarm in the hallway between the living and sleeping area.
  • If your home has more than one floor, at least one alarm should be fitted on each level.
  • Position smoke alarms onto the ceiling as close to the centre of the room, but at least 30 centimetres (12 inches) away from any light fittings.
  • Do not fit an alarm in the bathroom, as steam may trigger it.
  • If possible, fit a heat detector rather than a smoke alarm in your kitchen.