"Smoke alarms are the only efficient way of alerting people to a fire in their home”.


A smoke alarm could save your life! Its an early warning system which warns you almost as soon as a fire starts, giving you time to alert everybody in your household and time to make your escape.

The Risk of having a fire may not be great especially if you are in the habit of taking sensible precautions, but the risk is greater if you or your family:

  • Smoke cigarettes, cigars or a pipe;
  • Cook food in oil at high temperature, for example, chips;
  • Have electrical appliances, and
  • Use candles.


Where can I get one?

  • You can buy smoke alarms from DIY stores, hardware and electrical shops.
  • Also supermarkets, mail order and convenience shops.
  • If you have access to the Internet you can buy them online.


Are they Expensive?

  • A basic battery operated alarm costs from as little as £3.99. However the more features incorporated into the alarm, the more it is likely to cost.

Which type should I choose?

  • There are several different types available to suit your needs that have varying features, which might include a 'HUSH BUTTON' or an emergency light.
  • Battery models are available in standard (1-5 year life) or sealed long-life versions (up to 10 years).
  • Others are linked directly to the mains electricity and backed up by a rechargeable battery.
  • There are also types that plug into a light fitting with a battery back up.
  • For the Deaf or Hard of Hearing there are units available with a strobe type light and vibrating pads for under the pillow at night
  • An Ionisation type alarm is good for detecting free-burning, 'flaming' fires (for example chip- pan fires)
  • An Optical type alarm is good for detecting slow burning or 'smouldering' fires (for example, foam-filled furniture)
  • The 'Hush Button' facility allows you to silence the alarm if it has activated when there is not a fire, for example from cooking fumes or cigarette smoke. Once activated the alarm will silence and rearm itself after a few minutes. The hush system is overridden if there is a real fire.
  • Some types can be inter-linked together so that they will all operate if a single unit is activated.



Where should They be Fitted?

  • Smoke alarms come complete with fitting and maintenance instructions.
  • They will also include a guide on the best locations.
  • A general guide will be :-At least one alarm but usually one per floor level
  • Secure directly onto the ceiling at the highpoints keeping at least 30cm from any light fittings
  • Do not fit smoke alarms in Kitchens or Bathrooms
  • Never disconnect if the alarm is causing a nuisance. It is probably the wrong type or in the wrong place.
  • If it is difficult to fit the alarm yourself, ask a family member, or neighbour to help you out.
  • NEVER put it off. A smoke alarm can only protect you if it is installed and working.

If you require further information, or have another Community Safety enquiry Contact us.