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Smoke alarms

Tony’s DIY tips #4: Smoke alarms

Smoke alarms provide a vital early warning and can allow extra time to escape if there is a fire in your home. In our latest short DIY video our home maintenance expert Tony shows us how quick and easy it is to test your smoke alarm.

The Fire Brigade’s advice is to test smoke alarms at least monthly, but you can test them every week. Fortunately, testing them is not difficult.

If you cannot reach your smoke alarm then get yourself a little chair or stepladder. However, make sure someone is there to hold it steady for you to prevent a fall. If you are unsteady on your feet it may be best to ask a friend or neighbour to test it for you.

To test the alarm simply press the button on the underneath of the alarm. If it is working properly the alarm will beep a few times. It is that simple.
Sometimes your smoke alarm might suddenly start beeping intermittently. This normally means the battery needs replacing.

If you live in a rented property you should contact your landlord if there is a problem with your smoke alarm. Landlords are legally required to install smoke alarms in rental properties and could face fines of up to £5,000 if they fail to comply.

Do not place smoke alarms in kitchens or bathrooms because steam can damage or unintentionally activate them. Do not fit alarms on walls because smoke needs to travel along the ceiling and down the walls, meaning there will be a delay before it is activated.

Ensuring you have working smoke alarms in your home will provide a vital early warning for danger. So test your smoke alarm regularly; it only takes a couple of seconds and it saves lives.

More information on fire safety is available on the Fire Brigade’s website.

Tony’s other tips

Week 1: Fixing a loose toilet seat.

Week 2: Turning off the water supply.

Week 3: Unblocking a sink.

Look out for Tony’s next DIY tips next week.

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