The importance of smoke alarms in the home

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We recently blogged about our top tips for fire safety for the elderly at home and gave lots of advice on the best things you can do to help your elderly loved-one avoid fire hazards.

Our top tip was to make sure their home is kitted out with working smoke alarms. They can often get bad press due to false alarms when your toast slightly burns or low battery warning beeps driving you potty, but they are super important and can really help save your elderly loved-one’s life in an emergency. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

In 2016 to 2017, there were 261 fire-related fatalities. Research has shown that you are at least four times more likely to survive should a fire break out in your home, if you have working smoke alarms.

They should be fitted to every level of yours or your loved-one’s home and they should all have the British Standard number BS5446 and the Kitemark.

Testing smoke alarms should be a part of the household routine – you should test them by pressing the buttons at least once a month and change the battery at least once a year. You should also keep the casing clean and free of dust so the smoke sensor isn’t blocked.

You or your loved-one should also have a fire escape route mapped out along with a plan B route in case of an emergency.

If your elderly loved-one finds it difficult to hear a smoke alarm, there are ones available that vibrate that can be placed under a pillow at night or a cushion/sofa or chair padding during the day time.

Your loved-one’s local fire service will also offer a free smoke alarm and installation service, as well as a home safety check and advice. You can find links to more information about these services below:

North Wales Fire & Rescue Service

For a free home safety check, freephone 0800 169 1234, email cfs@nwales-fireservice.org.uk or phone the Community Safety Office on 01286 662 999.

South Wales Fire & Rescue Service

For a free home safety check, freephone 0800 169 1234, email cfs@nwales-fireservice.org.uk or text 07756 847123 or fill out the online request form here.

Mid & West Wales Fire & Rescue Service

For a free home safety check or if you have specific fire risks that you need advice on, freephone 0800 169 1234 or fill out the online request form here.