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Residents are being urged to make sure they have working smoke alarms fitted in their homes and to test them regularly.

As part of the latest Fire Kills campaign, Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service (WFRS) is reminding people of the importance of smoke alarms in saving lives in the event of fire.

Smoke alarms can give someone the few extra seconds they need to escape in a fire. Testing takes only a couple of seconds, but it can save lives. While the majority of homes across the country now have alarms fitted, most people are not aware that the average alarm has a lifespan of just ten years before it needs replacing.

With that in mind, WFRS is asking residents to ensure that their smoke alarms are up to date and up to the job.

Here are their top safety tips:

  • Make sure there is at least one smoke alarm on every level of the home
  • Test smoke alarms at least once a month
  • Check that smoke alarms are less than 10 years old
  • If you have a smoke detector which runs on a battery that needs replacing, make sure to change it once a year
  • Fit smoke alarms in the right place - on landings and hallways and near bedrooms. Consider fitting them in rooms which have electrical appliances – e.g. a heater or charger – or other fire risks
  • Check on neighbours or loved ones who may need help to ensure they’re fully protected

Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service also fits smoke alarms as part of free safe and well visits. People can apply on their website or call 01926 466282 to see if they are eligible for a safe and well.

Warwickshire County Council’s Portfolio Holder for Community Safety and Fire, Andy Crump said: “Smoke alarms can offer vital protection for you and your loved ones, but most people simply fit and forget – they may not know if alarms are coming to the end of their lifespan or not working at all.

“You should have at least one smoke alarm on each level of your home, ideally placed on the ceiling in hallways or landings. Regardless of how many smoke alarms you have, you should test them on a regular basis to make sure they’re working properly. Set a reminder on the first day of the month to push the button and test them.

“We fit smoke alarms for some of our most vulnerable residents through our safe and well checks. If you or someone you know could benefit from a safe and well visit do get in touch – they’re free of charge and will make sure that preventable measures are put in place to reduce the chances of a fatal fire.”

In the event of fire, having working smoke alarms gives you time to get out, stay out and call 999. For more advice on fitting or maintaining smoke alarms in your home, visit:

More home fire safety tips can be found at

Published: 8th March 2024

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