A smoke alarm will wake you up and give you vital extra time to escape. Costing from as little as £5, there really is no excuse for not having a smoke alarm in your home.
You can book a free Safe and Well visit, which may include the fitting of FREE smoke alarms, but if you want to choose your own, get clued up with our advice.
These alarms are the cheapest and the most widely available from most supermarkets, DIY stores and other high street retailers. They are sensitive to free burning fires e.g. chip pan fires.
These are more expensive because they are more effective at detecting slow burning fires such as overheated electrical wiring. They are less likely to go off accidentally or when you're cooking, and are best for ground floor hallways or for homes on one level.
If you are installing more than one smoke alarm, you may want to consider having one ionisation and one optical alarm for the best protection. However, whichever model you choose, look out for one which has a British Standard Kitemark symbol which indicates that the detector is an approved model.
To keep your smoke alarm in good working order, you should:
If the alarm fails to operate or continues to chirp:
Alarm hard wired to mains electric – contact an electrician or if in rented accommodation your landlord who will be able to give you further advice.
If you are unable to remove the alarm from the ceiling or you require further assistance contact Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service on 0800 555 815.
Why does my alarm keep going off?
False alarms can be annoying but they are easy to prevent. Whatever you do, don't remove the battery or disconnect the alarm. Usually the problem is you have placed the alarm too near to the kitchen so it is easily set off when you are cooking. Follow the advice on fitting and try moving the alarm to a less sensitive area or replace it with a hush or silencer button alarm.
But my alarm isn't near my kitchen but is still beeping regularly - what's the problem? If your smoke alarm starts to 'beep' regularly, you must replace the battery as soon as possible. If it's a 10 year alarm, you should replace the whole unit.
Warning! False alarms can also show that your alarm needs servicing.