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29th October, 2020 - 15:52: Westlea crew attended a 15 year old girl who had become stuck in a bab...Read more

29th October, 2020 - 14:59: Both fire engines from Dorchester Fire Station were sent to reports of...Read more

29th October, 2020 - 12:03: A crew from Poole gained entry to a property where the occupant had fo...Read more

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28th October, 2020 - 7:42 PM : Crews have extinguished a fire involving commercial waste in a skip us...Read more

27th October, 2020 - 5:49pm: Malmesbury - Crews from the Malmesbury and Chippenham fire stations wi...Read more

27th October, 2020 - 06:11: At 06:11 this morning, Fire Control received a call to a smoke alarm s...Read more

26th October, 2020 - 19:23: At 19:23 Fire Control received an emergency call to a bin fire near to...Read more

26th October, 2020 - 17:46: At 17:46 this evening, Fire Control received a call to a fire in a fla...Read more

26th October, 2020 - 17:38: Fire Control received a call this evening at 17:38 to a road traffic c...Read more

Smoke alarms

You are more than twice as likely to die in a fire at home if you haven’t got a working smoke alarm. Smoke alarms are the easiest way to alert you to the danger of fire, giving you precious time to escape. They are cheap, easy to get hold of, and simple to install.

How many alarms do you need?

The more alarms you have, the safer you will be. At minimum, you should have one on each floor of your home. You should always have one where you will hear it when you’re asleep.

What sort of alarm should I get?

Ionisation alarms are the cheapest and most readily available, and are very sensitive to fires that burn fiercely. As such, they will detect such fires before the smoke gets too thick.

Optical alarms are more expensive, but are also more effective at detecting slow-burning fires (such as smouldering foam filled furniture or overheated wiring). These are less likely to go off accidentally and are therefore best for ground floor hallways and homes on one level.

Whatever model you choose, make sure it meets the British Standard 5446 Part 1 (BS 5446-1) and ideally also carries the British Standard Kitemark.

Basic smoke alarms run off nine volt batteries, and these should be replaced on a regular basis. You can buy alarms with ten-year batteries, which provide peace of mind, but have to be replaced in their entirety when the battery eventually dies.

You can have mains powered alarms, which need to be installed by a qualified electrician. These do have battery back-up in case of a power cut.

Specialist alarms

Some alarms come with an emergency light, which comes on when the alarm is triggered. They are particularly suitable for people with hearing difficulties.

Interconnecting or linking alarms are useful in larger properties and for people with hearing difficulties. When one alarm senses smoke, every alarm goes off.

People who are deaf or have hearing difficulties can get mains powered alarms with strobe lights and a vibrating pad, which can go underneath your pillow at night.

Maintaining your alarm

To keep your smoke alarms in good working order, you should:

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