Alarms save lives and in the event of a fire or carbon monoxide (CO) incident they can provide precious time to escape. East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service and the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) are highlighting the importance of installing alarms as part of Home Safety Week, which runs from 14th - 20th June.
In 18% of dwelling fires in the UK smoke alarms fail to activate. The most common reason, around 50% of instances it was because the smoke did not reach the alarm.
On 4 May 2021, a fire broke out in a shed in Maresfield Drive in Pevensey in the early hours of the morning. It spread to a neighbouring shed and then towards two residential properties.
Simon Neill, Group Manager (East) said: “The householders all had working smoke alarms which meant that when this incident happened, they were quickly alerted to the fire and were able to get out quickly. This shows just how important it is to make sure you have alarms on every level of your house. We can help you find the best place to put them, give you additional safety advice and in many cases, provide you with the alarms themselves.”
Fires aren't the only danger. CO is a highly poisonous gas, which you cannot see, taste, or smell. NFCC recommends 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."
Home Safety Visits and online checks
We offer free home safety visits – by phone or in-person – to everyone in East Sussex and Brighton and Hove. Call 0800 177 7069, email Homefire.Safetyvisits@esfrs.org or go to https://www.esfrs.org/your-safety/home-safety-visits/ for more information.
We also have an online safety check.
This easy-to-follow home fire safety check has been developed through a partnership between the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC), Fire Kills, and Safelincs. It will take you through your home one room at a time and the simple questions will help you spot fire risks as you go around your home.
The tool will offer tips and advice on the steps you can take to reduce those risks. At the end, you will receive a personalised fire safety action plan to help keep you and your household safe from fire.
Take part here: https://www.safelincs.co.uk/hfsc/?ref=ESFRS