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Be alert to alarms for a safer home

Date : 29 September 2020


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Alarms save lives and in the event of a fire or carbon monoxide (CO) incident they can provide precious time to escape.

The National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) and East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service, are highlighting the importance of installing alarms as part of Home Safety Week, which runs from 28th September to 4th October.

In 20% of accidental dwelling fires in the UK smoke alarms fail to activate. The most common reason was because the fire was outside the alarm's range. So, we ask householders to install alarms to ensure the whole home is covered.

Smoke alarms should be installed in the rooms used most, this is where a fire is most likely to start. Only around 15% of households have CO alarms. CO is a highly poisonous gas, which you cannot see, taste or smell.

NFCC recommend that any room with a fuel burning appliance such as an open fire, wood burning stove or gas appliance such as a boiler, or cooker, should also have a working CO alarm fitted.

  • Install at least one smoke alarm on each level of your home and also in the rooms you use most.
  • Carbon monoxide alarms should be installed in all rooms where there is fuel burning appliance.
  • Test all alarms regularly to make sure they work.
  • Ensure all appliances are installed and maintained correctly by registered and suitably qualified tradespeople.
  • Alarms don't last forever, replace them at least every 10 years.
  • If you can, interlink alarms.

James Bywater, NFCC Lead for Home Detection commented: "NFCC want people to think about the risks in their homes and ensure they take action to prevent incidents and ensure they have the right detection in the right places to be alert if an incident happens.

“This might mean installing more smoke alarms in your home, particularly in the rooms used most, and carbon monoxide alarms in all rooms with a fuel burning appliance.

“Home detection technology has advanced and products with sealed batteries or interlinked systems are available and as part of your home safety plan may give you and your family precious time to escape."

For the latest up to date advice and information about keeping your home safe please see our safety advice. If people need specific advice for their household then contact our Community Safety Team to arrange a home safety check.

If you would like to find out more about a Home Safety Visit, you can: 

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