HOMEOWNERS are being asked to check their smoke alarms as fire risk increases during a heatwave.

Fire safety leaders with Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service are urging people to fit smoke alarms to every level of their homes and test them regularly. 


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Fire statistics reveal that one smoke alarm may not be enough to provide the best chance of escaping a house fire, while research shows that only 26 per cent of all households who own an alarm test them on a regular basis.

But, despite the majority of homes nationally (over 90 per cent) having at least one working smoke alarm, smoke alarms only alerted householders to well under half of all fires in the home in England.

Smoke alarms failed to activate most commonly because the fires were outside their range.

During the last ten years (1 April 2012 – 31 March 2022), Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service attended some 1,494 incidents where no smoke alarm was fitted and 4,314 where one was fitted.

Where they were fitted, 488 were not close enough to the fire to be effective, 70 had an alarm battery missing, in 32 the detector was removed and in 32 the battery was defective.

In 187 incidents, the fire was in an area not covered by the smoke alarm system and in over 200 fire incidents the smoke detector was determined to be not suitably positioned.

The Government announced last year that housing providers will be legally required to install smoke alarms in all social housing, while carbon monoxide alarms must be fitted in social and private rented properties with fixed appliances such as gas boilers or fires.

For these reasons, the Fire Kills campaign and the fire service are encouraging people to catch up on smoke alarms in their home.

Watch Commander James Gough, of the Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service prevention department, said: “We must all make sure that we have enough smoke alarms to cover the whole of our homes. If you don’t have enough, or they’re not in the right place, you might not be alerted in time.

“The vast majority of us now have at least one smoke alarm in our homes, but early detection and warning is vital to reduce the devastation a fire in the home can cause.

“This is particularly important in view of the excessive temperatures we’ve been experiencing lately.”