Spring into action - test that smoke alarm

Firefighters from Avon Fire & Rescue Service (AF&RS) are urging anyone dusting their dining room or cleaning their kitchen to remember to clean their smoke alarm too.

As part of AF&RS’s spring campaign, crews are highlighting the importance of working smoke detectors.

Last year there were 614 house fires across the AF&RS area. Of those 57% (349) either had no smoke alarm or a smoke alarm which didn’t activate.

Avon Fire & Rescue Service Station Manager, Stuart Matthews, said: “Smoke alarms give you vital extra seconds to escape a fire – but they can only save your life if they’re working.

“Without a working smoke alarm you could easily sleep through a fire and never wake up. Just two or three breaths of toxic smoke is enough to render you unconscious, so the sooner you are made aware of a fire in your home, the quicker you and your family can get to safety.”

“This time of year we’re encouraging people having a spring clean to remember their smoke alarm. Ideally you should try and test it around once a week; doing it as part of the routine like vacuuming or putting the bins out, is a good way to remind yourself.

“It’s also a good idea to dust or vacuum your smoke alarm regularly to ensure it will activate if you need it.”

Smoke detectors should be fitted on every level of the home and families are advised to have an escape plan, so that in the event of a fire everyone will know how to get out of the property quickly and safely.

On the AF&RS website there is a link to a free reminder service where a text or email is sent to you on a regular basis so you don’t forget to look after your smoke alarm.

AF&RS provides Home Fire Safety Visits, where firefighters visit the homes of the most vulnerable members of the community to talk to occupants about fire safety, completely free of charge. 

To find out more about Home Fire Safety Visits call 0117 926 2061. For more fire safety advice visit www.avonfire.gov.uk and go to the ‘your safety’ pages.