Smoke alarms

Choosing your smoke alarm

  • Fit smoke alarms on every level of your home.
  • Smoke alarms are cheap and easy to install. 
  • They are available from DIY stores, electrical shops and most high street supermarkets. 
  • There are a variety of different models to choose from. Avon Fire & Rescue Service can provide you with advice on which one is best suited for you.

Illustration of smoke alarm with message stating £5 could save your life

illustration of a house with smoke alarms fitted on both floors

How to make sure your smoke alarm works

Test the batteries in your smoke alarm every month. Change them every year. Never remove them.

  • Never disconnect or take the batteries out of your alarm if it goes off by mistake.
  • Standard battery operated alarms are the cheapest option, but the batteries need to be replaced every year.
  • A lot of people forget to check the batteries, so longer life batteries are better.
  • An alarm with 10 year batteries is the best option.
  • Mains-powered alarms are powered by your home power supply. Generally they don't need replaceable batteries, but need to be installed by a qualified electrician.
  • Alarms that plug into a light socket use a rechargeable battery, which is charged when the light is on.
  • You can have linked alarms installed, so that when one alarm detects a fire they all go off together. This is useful if you live in a large house or over several levels.


illustration showing a smoke alarm being tested

Illustration showing batteries being removed from a smoke alarm

Fitting your smoke alarm

Strobe light and vibrating pad alarms are available for those who are deaf or hard of hearing.
  • Don't put alarms in or near kitchens or bathrooms where smoke or steam can set them off by accident.
  • The ideal position is on the ceiling, in the middle of a room, or on the hallway and landing, so you can hear the alarm throughout your home.
  • If it is difficult for you to fit your alarm yourself contact Avon Fire & Rescue Service for more advice.


Illustration advising against smoke alarms being fitted in kitchens

Illustration advising against smoke alarms being fitted in bathrooms


Looking after your smoke alarm

  • Make checking your smoke alarm part of your regular household routine.
  • Test it by pressing the button until the alarm sounds. If it doesn't sound you need to replace the battery.
  • If your smoke alarms starts to beep on a regular basis, you need to replace the battery immediately.
  • If it is a 10 year alarm, you will need to replace the whole alarm every 10 years.


Illustration advising to test your smoke alarm regularly

Illustration advising you to change your smoke alarm battery regularly

Illustration advising you to replace your smoke alarm at the end of it's life