Baby thrown from upstairs window as fire engulfs Sheffield flats with residents trapped inside.

04 March 2021

FIA is always encouraging UK residents to get into the routine of testing their smoke alarms every week and we continue emphasising it in our news stories. It is essential for you and your families safety.

Only a month ago a baby had to be thrown from an upstairs window to safety after a blaze engulfed a block of flats in Sheffield leaving residents trapped. Thanks to working smoke alarms within the flat, neighbours were able to raise the alarm and call 999 to get firefighters on the scene.


You’re at least four times more likely to die in a fire in the home if there are no working smoke alarms. In the event of a fire, smoke alarms can give you the vital early warning that could allow you to escape from the property and call the emergency services.

Follow the top tips on smoke alarm testing and maintenance in your home:

  • Install smoke alarms in your home, following the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Test smoke alarms every week to make sure they are working.
  • The best places to fit them are at the bottom of the stairs, with further smoke alarms on each stair landing
  • The ideal position is on the ceiling, as near as possible to the centre of the room, hallway or landing.
  • Take time to check on elderly relatives and neighbours as they are at greater risk from fire, and test their smoke alarms for them. 

Look after your smoke alarms:

  • Once a week – test the batteries.
  • Once a year – change the batteries (unless it is a ten-year alarm).
  • Twice a year – gently vacuum to remove dust.
  • Every ten years – replace the entire smoke alarm.