Safety advice on smoke alarms

Published: 03 Sep 2018

Following a recent Which? report which detailed the safety risks of cheap imported alarms available online, Hertfordshire County Council is highlighting the importance of having working, safe, smoke alarms.

Smoke alarms can give someone that few extra seconds they need to escape in a fire. It is essential therefore that smoke alarms are fitted in every home and that they are marked with a British Standards or European (CE) safety mark, which shows they are approved and safe. Some of the smoke alarms purchased online and tested by Which? did not sound at all in a fire situation.

To stay safe:

• Make sure your smoke alarms are marked with the current British Standards or European (CE) safety mark;
• Make sure there is at least one smoke alarm on every level of your home;
• Test your smoke alarms by pushing the button every month;
• Check that your smoke alarms are less than 10 years old;
• Fit smoke alarms on landings and hallways and near bedrooms. Also consider in rooms which have electrical appliances – e.g. a heater or charger – or other fire risks;
• Take a moment to check on your loved ones who may need help to ensure they’re fully protected;
• Remember to check your carbon monoxide alarm as well.

If you have any concerns about the your smoke alarms, Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue offer a free home safety check which will make sure your alarms are correctly sited and working. If you need it, they will replace or fit a new smoke alarm free of charge. The appointment lasts no more than an hour and you'll get the advice you need to keep your home safe.

You can book an appointment at:

Terry Hone, Cabinet Member for Community Safety, said: “It’s very worrying that there are smoke alarms being sold online that don’t work and we would advise residents to be extremely cautious about buying cheap imported alarms, some of which even falsely claim to comply with the safety standard of the BSI, the UK’s standards body.

“If you have any concerns, please book a free safety check. Smoke alarms offer vital protection for you and your loved ones. It’s essential that they are working properly and positioned correctly. You can also report safety concerns about purchased products and receive advice by contacting Citizens Advice on 03454 040506.”