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22nd March, 2017 - 11:31pm: Weymouth have gone to Littlemoor to reports of 2 cars alight, they are...Read more

22nd March, 2017 - 9:05pm: One crew from Salisbury are at a motorbike which is well alight on Hig...Read more

22nd March, 2017 - 8:02pm: One pump from Salisbury has been sent to a chimney fire in Landford....Read more

22nd March, 2017 - 7:37pm: 2 pumps from Corsham have been sent to a cooker fire in a gas oven....Read more

22nd March, 2017 - 7:15pm: One pump from Chippenham are at an RTC at Pewsham Way roundabout. One ...Read more

22nd March, 2017 - 16:22: At 16:22 we received a call to a fire inside a flat in Ripon Road in B...Read more

21st March, 2017 - 9.25pm: Shrewton - Amesbury and Salisbury were called to a small electrical fi...Read more

21st March, 2017 - 8.29pm: Cricklade - Appliances from Cricklade and Stratton attend a garden she...Read more

21st March, 2017 - 5.49pm: Trowbridge - A crew from Trowbridge assisted the ambulance service by ...Read more

21st March, 2017 - 08.25: A fire crew from Swindon responded to a fire alarm activation in centr...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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