Safety at home
Smoke alarms can save lives, but only if they are working. Test yours weekly.
The early warning that saves lives
Most fires at home start accidentally – and the effects can be devastating. A smoke alarm helps to provide an early warning, and time to escape – which really does save lives.
Smoke alarm or heat alarm – what's the difference?
Smoke alarms detect smoke – fit them in all rooms where a fire might start. But in smoky or steamy rooms like your kitchen or bathroom, a heat alarm is more suitable. These alarms go off when the room reaches a certain temperature. They are just as easy to fit as smoke alarms, and you can buy them from as little as £10 from DIY stores and online.
Smoke alarm advice
- Don't just fit a smoke alarm in your hall and landing – also fit them in any room where a fire can start. For example, any room where you smoke or leave appliances plugged in.
- Smoke alarms are not suitable for kitchens but heat alarms are. Fitting a heat alarm in your kitchen will give you warning of an increase in temperature caused by a fire but will not be set off by cooking fumes.
- Some battery or mains alarms can be interlinked, so that when one alarm detects a fire they all go off together, giving you warning wherever you are in your home. This is particularly important where a person has any issues that may prevent or delay their escape to ensure they are alerted to a fire as soon as possible.
- If you choose to have a mains-powered alarm, make sure it's installed by a qualified electrician.