The new Fire Minister, The Rt Hon Mike Penning MP, has urged the public to regularly test their smoke alarms as part of a New Year FireKills campaign.
Smoke alarms are a vital early warning of a fire which can give you and your family a chance to escape before it develops. CFOA encourages households to fit a smoke alarm on every level of their home and to test them weekly – or at least once a month. It is also important to know and practice your escape routes; a smoke alarm can warn you, but you have to be able to get yourself out.
Mr Penning said:
“With only half of people who own alarms testing them regularly, this campaign gives us a timely reminder to make sure our smoke alarms are working properly.
Research shows you are four times more likely to die in a fire if you live in a home without working smoke alarms.”
FireKills have launched a month long campaign on radio and social media to encourage people to get into good habits this year and test their alarm regularly. Check out their Facebook page for more details.
If your alarm is battery operated, change the battery once a year, or if you have a multi-year non-replaceable alarm, make sure you change it once the battery starts to fail. It is also important to maintain your alarms by keeping them clean and dust free.
Landlords are now required to fit smoke alarms in rented properties, following a change in the law in October. However, it is the responsibility of tenants to test them, and to inform the landlord if they need replacing.
To read the Fire Minister’s full statement, visit the Home Office website.