Essex County Fire and Rescue Service

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Smoke alarms - One is not enough

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service is urging people to make sure they have a smoke alarm on every level of their home.

Smoke alarms are the unsung heroes of every home but despite this, 31% of properties involved in fires in Essex last year did not have one.

Between March 2015 and April 2016, Essex firefighters were called to 991 house fires. Of these, only 410 homes had working smoke alarms, and 245 homes did not have a smoke alarm installed at all.

In the last year Essex County fire and Rescue Service has completed nearly 10,000 free Home Safety Visits.

The Service is now urging people to get a smoke alarm fitted on every floor in their home.

Divisional Officer Neil Fenwick, the Service’s Head of Community Safety, said: “Every home should have at least one working smoke alarm on each floor of their home.

“Smoke coming from the ground floor will take longer to reach a smoke alarm on another floor, and vice versa.  Ensure you and your family have enough smoke alarms in your home – one is simple not enough.

“Last year, we attended 336 house fires where the smoke alarm did not activate. The most common reasons for this is either bad positioning, they were not maintained properly and the battery was not working or had been removed.  Smoke alarms are life savers, but only if they are working.”

Help keep yourself and your loved ones safe in the home by following these simple steps:

- A working smoke alarm can buy you valuable time to get out, stay out and call 999. Make sure you fit one on every level of your home and test them regularly.

- Make testing your smoke alarm part of your household routine. Check the alarm by pressing the button regularly; change your battery once a year or invest in a 10-year alarm; and clean the alarm casing twice a year to ensure dust isn't blocking the sensor.

- Whatever happens, never remove the battery from your smoke alarm.

- Make sure that everyone in your home knows what to do in the event of a fire and practice your escape route.

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service wants 100% of homes in Essex to have a working smoke alarm. To get your FREE smoke alarm and home safety visit call us on 0300 303 0088 or book online on our website www.essex-fire.gov.uk.

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