Gift-wrapped safety messages delivered by Shropshire Fire & Rescue Service


Crews from Shropshire Fire and Rescue have been delivering surprise Christmas presents to residents in Burford, Brookside today, highlighting the importance of having a working smoke alarm.

Chief Fire Officer, Rod Hammerton said: “Smoke alarms save lives, but only if they are tested regularly and work properly. Simply having a smoke alarm isn’t enough.

“Our fire crews have been to almost 60 houses today helping people check their alarms and fitting houses without them.

“Should a fire break out, smoke alarms can give valuable time and an early warning helping you to escape and call the emergency services.”

Industry figures suggest that one in ten households do not have a working smoke alarm and today’s visits were aimed at encouraging residents to check their alarms regularly.  

There are many types of alarms on the market and cost from around £5 upwards. They can be operated by battery (Dry Cell) or mains power, in the latter case with or without a backup battery.

The ideal solution is a mains powered smoke alarm with backup batteries. Where more than one detector is required, they can be linked together using either hard wiring or a radio-interlinked network.

Always look for an alarm which carries a British Standards or European (CE) safety mark, which shows they are approved and safe.

Alarms should ideally have the full ten-year product life - standard for smoke alarms -and has not been kept in a warehouse for too long.

Mr Hammerton also added: “For rented houses, landlords are required by law to ensure alarms are installed in their properties. Smoke alarms should be installed on every level of the property.”

Once installed, landlords (or someone acting on their behalf) must ensure all alarms are in working order at the start of each new tenancy. Tenants should then take responsibility for their own safety and test alarms regularly to make sure they are in working order.

Top tips for smoke alarm testing and maintenance

  • Install smoke alarms in your home, following the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • The best places to fit them are on ceilings at the bottom of stairs, with further smoke alarms on each stair landing
  • The ideal position is on the ceilings, as near as possible to the centre of the room, hallway or landing.
  • Take time to check on elderly relatives and neighbours as they are at greater risk from fire and test their smoke alarms for them

Look after your smoke alrams

  • Once a week – test the batteries.
  • Once a year – change the batteries (unless it is a ten-year alarm).
  • Twice a year – gently vacuum to remove dust.
  • Every ten years – replace the entire smoke alarm or follow the manufacturer’s instructions

For all other fire safety advice such as how to obtain a free smoke alarm, advice on fitting or if you are concerned about fire safety in the property of a vulnerable person, visit our website  or click for advice and details on how to book a Safe & Well visit


10th December, 2019