Fire safety experts caution homeowners about relying on a single smoke alarm. The Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service (HWFRS) and a national fire safety campaign advocate for a thorough assessment of smoke alarm placements to enhance home safety.

05 January 2024

Recent research has uncovered a potential gap in home fire safety – the reliance on a lone smoke alarm. According to statistics, having just one smoke alarm may not provide sufficient coverage for a timely escape in the event of a fire. In response to these findings, the national fire safety campaign and the Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service (HWFRS) are urging residents of Herefordshire and Worcestershire to reevaluate their home safety measures.

Emma Roberts, the Head of Prevention at HWFRS, emphasises the critical need for comprehensive smoke alarm coverage in homes. She states, “We must all make sure that we have enough smoke alarms to cover our whole homes.

"If you don't have enough, or they're not in the right place, you might not be alerted in time.

"That’s why it’s so important that you have enough smoke alarms and that they are in the right place to have the best chance of alerting you and your loved ones to a fire.”

Ms Roberts also advises "You should make sure you have at least one smoke alarm on every level of your home, preferably in hallways and landings."

She also added to place alarms close to bedrooms and rooms with electrical appliances, while reminding the public that smoke alarms don't last forever.

"The power might work, but the detection mechanism deteriorates with time.

"Whether they are battery operated or wired to the mains, they should be replaced every ten years."

HWFRS offers further guidance on smoke alarm installation, suggesting placement in the middle of a room, hallway, or landing on each level of the home. Additional alarms are recommended for rooms with electrical appliances, while caution is advised against installing alarms near kitchens and bathrooms.

Ms Roberts concludes with a reminder to test smoke alarms weekly, reinforcing the message: "Press to test, weekly is best."

Homeowners who may qualify for a free Home Fire Safety Visit can contact the HWFRS Prevention team at 0800 032 1155.

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