Why do we need smoke alarms?

Fire strikes when you least expect it, often during the night. If you are asleep when a fire starts you need a working smoke alarm to wake you.

Fire spreads very quickly - the real killer is the smoke.

People cannot smell smoke - when you are asleep you lose your ability to smell.

It only takes 3 or 4 breaths of the toxic fumes to suffocate you and family members.

A smoke alarm is an early warning system which warns you almost as soon as a fire starts and gives you and your family time to alert everyone and to escape safely.

Every home should have a smoke alarm on every level as a minimum! Ideally, one in your hallway and one on your landing. You can have more - in fact in any room where there is a potential ignition source. Fit a heat detector in the kitchen - cooking fumes would make a smoke detector go off too often!

Smoke alarms should be fitted on ceilings at the highest point as smoke rises.

Infographic about smoke alarm placement

Smoke alarms only saves lives if they are working.

How do we test a smoke alarm? We press the test button. If you can't reach use something long and pointy, such as a broom handle, walking stick or umbrella.

Test smoke alarms weekly, (Test It Tuesday) even if they are mains powered.

Remember: Always tell the people who are home that you will be testing the smoke alarm as we don't want them to panic.

If the alarm has a replaceable battery, replace the battery annually, give it a birthday unless the alarm is fitted with a 10 year sealed battery.

Smoke alarms should be vacuumed at least twice a year to remove any dust or insects.

It only takes one accident to start a fire. Are you sure your smoke alarms are working? Test yours now.