A new year - a new cause for alarm!

A lady testing a smoke alarmIf you still haven’t come up with a decent New Year’s resolution yet, Avon Fire & Rescue Service (AF&RS) has the perfect solution.

Make 2013 the year you ensure that your smoke alarms are up to date, working properly, and in the right place to protect you and your loved ones.

It takes seconds to check your smoke alarm; but those few seconds could save your life, and the life of everybody else in your household.

Many people see January as the time to make a fresh start, and that should apply to safety as much as anything else.

Smoke alarms have been proven time and time again to give someone some precious extra seconds to increase their chances of safely escaping a fire.

A majority of homes nationwide now do have smoke alarms fitted.

New Years resolution: Check your smoke alarms.

However, most people are not aware that the average alarm has a lifespan of just ten years, after which they need replacing to be truly effective.

For those who live in a multi-storey property or larger home, one smoke alarm may simply not be enough.

Last year, nearly half of all household fires where the smoke alarm did not give a warning were because the alarm was not close enough to detect the fire.

Last year, smoke detectors raised the alarm in more than a third of all reported dwelling fires nationwide.

In homes which had smoke alarms which did activate last year, there were 73 fatalities, compared to 214 deaths at homes which either did not have smoke alarms, or where the alarm did not operate.

So AF&RS is asking people to make 2013 the year they make sure that their alarms are up to date, and up to the job.

 

Keep your alarms in good working order

  • Test them by pushing the button regularly;
  • Make sure there is at least one smoke alarm on every level of your home;
  • Fit smoke alarms on landings, hallways and in rooms which have an electrical appliance; and
  • Take a moment to check on your less able loved ones, to ensure that they are also fully protected.

 

Station Manager Rob Edwards said: “At this time of year, many people will be thinking of what they can do, big or small, to make a fresh start and improve their lives, homes and wellbeing.

“A smoke alarm can offer vital protection for you and your loved ones, but most people simply fit and forget, and don’t know when it might be coming to the end of its lifespan.

“For most of us, there’s nothing more important than keeping our loved ones safe and secure.

“So if your alarm is getting past its best, or your top floor is missing an alarm of its own, make your New Year’s resolution to fit new ones.

“Sometimes, people have taken alarms down to fit new batteries, and then forgotten to do it; it is very important that your smoke alarms are in the right place and are working properly.

“When it’s the safety of your loved ones you are considering, it should be easy to find the motivation to make this one resolution that you will definitely want to keep.”