Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue were called out to house fires 313 times between April and December 2017 and out of these incidents, 12 per cent had no smoke alarm fitted and 25 per cent had smoke alarms that didn’t activate - because they were either not in the right place or the batteries were flat.
The service warns that people in Lincolnshire are running the risk of not having any early warning of a fire if they don’t have a working smoke alarm fitted and tested appropriately.
Fortunately, in 52 per cent of house fires over the same time period, smoke alarms activated and enabled 146 people to evacuate their properties.
Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue is encouraging people who have fitted their own smoke alarms to consider if they have been placed in the right area and if they need more.
Community Fire Safety Manager Shona Wright said: “Early detection and warning are a vital part of keeping people safe in their homes in the case of a fire.
“We’re asking people to think about where their smoke alarm is placed, and whether they need at least one more in their home to ensure they have the time to get out, stay out and call 999.”
“The figures we have point very strongly to the fact residents have a far better chance of firstly being aware and secondly escaping a fire in their home if they have a smoke alarm fitted.
“But even if you have a smoke alarm it’s essential that you test the battery regularly to ensure it works; only a working smoke alarm can buy you and your family the valuable time to get out if there is a fire.”
Shona offered the following tips:
• Install a smoke alarm on every level of your home. The ideal position is on the ceiling in the middle of a room, or in a hallway or landing.
• Consider fitting alarms in other rooms where there are electrical appliances, and near sleeping areas.
• Don’t put alarms in or near kitchens and bathrooms where smoke or steam can set them off by accident.
• If any of your smoke alarms have a one-year battery, make sure it is changed every year. Only take the battery out when you need to replace it.
• Replace your smoke alarms every 10 years as the mechanism gradually deteriorates.
• Don’t forget to test your smoke alarms at least once a month.
For more, visit www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/lfr or call 01476 565441.