- Fire Safety At Home
- Bedtime Checks
- Candles, Lights And Decorations
- Carbon Monoxide
- Cooking Safely
- Electrical Safety
- Escape Plans
- Independent Living
- Oxygen Therapy
- Smoke Alarms
- Bioethanol Liquid Fuel
- Outside The Home
- If You Have A Fire
- Community Fire Safety
- Business Fire Safety
- Product Notices and Recalls
Home Fire Safety Check
As part of a free Home Fire Safety Check, Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service can provide and fit a 10 year smoke alarm free of charge as well as providing you with information about how to make an escape plan and how to deal with the fire risks you may have in your home. For more information, please ring 0800 1691125 or click here
Getting a smoke alarm yourself
Ideally we would prefer that you contact us so that we can provide you with a Home Fire Safety Check. But if you do want to buy and fit your own smoke alarms, this advice may help you.
How many smoke alarms should I fit?
The more alarms you have, the safer you’ll be. At minimum you should have one on each floor. However, if you have only one alarm and two floors, put it somewhere you’ll be able to hear it when you’re asleep. If you have a TV or other large electrical appliances (such as a computer) in any of the bedrooms, you should fit a smoke alarm there too.
What type of smoke alarms should I get?
There are two types of smoke alarm:
These are the cheapest and most readily available and are very sensitive to flaming fires (ones that burn fiercely such as chip-pan fires). Ionisation alarms will detect flaming fires before the smoke gets too thick.
These are more expensive and more effective at detecting slow-burning fires (such as smouldering foam-filled furniture or overheated wiring). Optical alarms are less likely to go off accidentally and so are best for ground-floor hallways and for homes on one level.
For the best protection, you should install one of each. However, if you can’t have both, it’s still safer to have either one, rather than none at all. Whichever model you choose, you should make sure that it meets British Standard 5446, Part 1 (BS 5446-1) and ideally also carries the British Standard Kitemark.
Installing a smoke alarm only takes a few minutes – just follow the manufacturer’s instructions that come with it. The best place is on the ceiling, near or at the middle of the room or hall. The alarm should be at least 30cm (one foot) away from a wall or light.
If it’s difficult for you to fit yourself, ask a family member or friend to help you, or contact Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service on 0800 1691125.
Maintenance of a smoke alarm
To keep your smoke alarm in good working order, you should:
- test it once a week, by pressing the test button until the alarm sounds;
- change the battery once a year (unless it’s a ten-year alarm);
- replace the whole unit every ten years.