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Smoke alarms – they're not an early warning, they’re your only warning.

Includes seasonal tips for staying safe.

Smoke alarms

Injuries and deaths can be prevented if you fit your home with a smoke alarm.

You can buy one for about £5 from any good electrical or DIY shop. Make sure it meets British Standards and displays the Kitemark logo.

7 smoke alarm tips

  1. Fit your smoke alarm at least 30 cms (12 inches) away from any wall or light fitting and as close to the centre of the room, hallway or landing as possible.
  2. Don't fit a smoke alarm in the kitchen or bathroom as cooking fumes or steam may trigger it.
  3. Don't fit a smoke alarm in the garage where exhaust fumes are likely to set it off.
  4. If your home is on 1 level, fit at least one alarm in the hallway between the bedroom and the exit.
  5. If your home is on more than 1 level, fit at least one alarm at the bottom of the stairs, with additional alarms on each upstairs landing.
  6. Check your smoke alarm every month.
  7. Change the battery every year, vacuum and wipe the casing and slots (unless you have a 10 year battery).

Make a fire escape plan

If there is a fire in your home, it'll be much easier for you to escape if you've already thought about the best way to get out quickly.

  • Work out an escape route, making sure that you always keep it clear of obstructions like toys or anything that could block your way.
  • Keep keys to doors and windows accessible.
  • Check all the family know how to escape.
  • Tell family or friends who may stay at your home overnight.

If a fire starts in your home...

  • Raise the alarm.
  • Get out.
  • Get others out, if you can safely. Don't risk your own life.
  • Call the fire service on 999 or 112.
  • Stay out – don't go back in for anything.

If the escape route is blocked...

  • If you can’t open the window, break the glass in the bottom corner. Make jagged edges safe with a towel or blanket.
  • If you're on the ground floor, get out of a window. Use bedding to cushion your fall and lower yourself. Don't jump.
  • If you can’t get out, get everyone into 1 room, preferably with a window and a phone. Put bedding or towels round the door to block the smoke.
  • Call 999 as soon as you can.

If you become trapped...

  • You should close the door between you and the fire.  
  • Seal the door as much as possible with sheets, clothing or towels.
  • Raise the alarm, Call 999.