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Fire Safety Advice - Smoke Alarms

This page provides information about smoke alarms as part of the Council's fire safety advice.

Smoke alarms detect fires at their earliest stages and sound a loud warning to help you and your family get out to safety. EVERY home should fit one!

  • Always buy an alarm which has the British Standard Kitemark on it, which is BS 5446, Part One.
  • Many detectors are operated by a 9-volt battery, available in most supermarkets and DIY shops. Some will work for ten years without a battery change speak to retailers for advice.
  • Others are ‘hard wired’ to your electricity circuit, so you don’t have to worry about any batteries. Electricians can easily fit these for you, if you are unsure how to.
  • Fit one on each floor of your home, at least 30 centimetres (12 inches) away from any wall or light fitting. If you have only one alarm, fit it in a place where it can be heard throughout your home - particularly when you are asleep.
  • Don’t fit them too close to a kitchen or bathroom, where steam can keep setting them off by accident.

Please ensure your smoke alarm is in full working order.

  • Check the battery once a month by pressing the red ‘Test’ button either by hand or with the end of a broom handle and change it once a year.
  • Don’t be tempted to take batteries out of detectors at Christmas or birthdays to power children’s toys!
  • Gently run the nozzle of a vacuum cleaner or duster over the ‘grill’ of the smoke detector once or twice a year, to help keep it free from dust and grime.

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  • Last Updated: 22 March 2011
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