Smoke alarm appeal to Dumfries and Galloway residents

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Many people don’t realise that at least one alarm is needed on each level of a home

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Dumfries and Galloway’s firefighters have urged residents to consider if their homes are adequately protected by working smoke alarms.

While most householders understand the life-saving devices buy vital time for people to escape a fire, many don’t realise that at least one alarm is needed on each level of a home.

The area’s Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) community safety officer, Watch Manager Jason Gardiner, is clear no-one can afford to ignore the issue.

He explained: “If there aren’t enough smoke alarms within a home, or if they aren’t located in the right place, then people might not get the early warning they need to get to safety if a fire starts.

“Early detection prevents tragedies and the vast majority of us now have at least one smoke alarm in our home, but we need to make sure these work and are placed where they would alert everyone to the danger.”

The advice from SFRS is to have at least one smoke alarm on every level of the property.

The devices should ideally be placed on the ceiling in the middle of a room or in a hallway or landing; and people should consider fitting additional alarms in bedrooms and other areas where there are electrical appliances.

Heat alarms can be installed in kitchens – the room where most house fires start – as they provide early warning without being activated by small amounts of cooking-related smoke.

SFRS has also urged anyone who keeps an eye out for the welfare of someone who could be at increased risk to check their homes are protected.

Watch Manager Gardiner added: “Our crews are available to help people keep their homes safe from fire and we want to hear from anyone who thinks they or someone they know could use that support and advice.

“A free home fire safety visit only takes around 20 minutes and we would much rather do that than end-up responding to a tragedy that could have been prevented.

“Our crews share some easy steps to help people prevent fires from happening and also check to make sure a home has enough smoke alarms, that they work and that they’re positioned in the right place to save lives.”

To register for the popular free Home Fire Safety Visit programme call the SFRS freephone number: 0800 0731 999, text ‘FIRE’ to 80800 or visit the website at www.firescotland.gov.uk.

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