21 March 2014
Jersey Fire & Rescue is taking part in Home Safety Week from 24 to 30 March 2014.
Alongside fire and rescue services across Britain, throughout the week the Island's service will be promoting the benefits of a smoke alarm. They are recommending that every home should have a smoke alarm on each level. Fit one alarm on the ground floor, and additional alarms on each landing, making sure that the smoke alarm is placed where you can hear it – even through a closed door.
Community Fire Safety Officer Toby Aubert said “Smoke alarms – as part of your home safety plan – can save your life. They are a vital, inexpensive, life-saving tool that should be in every home. Fires can spread – fast! Those few extra minutes that the smoke alarm gives you can let you get out to safety if there is a fire in your home."
Landlords urged to consider safety
As part of Home Safety Week, Jersey Fire & Rescue are asking housing associations and trusts to ensure that their properties have smoke alarms fitted.
Landlords have a duty to ensure that the properties they let are safe, and are being urged to consider their tenants’ safety by fitting and maintaining smoke alarms – even where it is not a legal requirement.
Choose the right smoke alarm
Optical smoke alarms, which are better at detecting a broader range of fires and are less prone to false alarms are recommended. A little maintenance every six months, taking no more than a few minutes, will help to keep your smoke alarm working to protect you. Every six months, clean your smoke alarm in accordance with the manufacturer’s guidelines.
"Make it a regular part of your monthly routine to check that your smoke alarm is working, by pressing the test button. Why not test it on the first of every month? This will act as a reminder: pinch, punch, push that button," Mr Aubert said. "Reducing the risk of fire in the first instance can be achieved by a comprehensive bedtime routine of turning off all unnecessary electrical items, placing guards around fires and extinguishing all candles and smoking materials."
Jersey Fire & Rescue also provide smoke alarms for the hard of hearing. They send a wifi signal that activates a flashing strobe and vibrating pad. This signal receiving unit is normally placed in the bedroom with the strobe by the side of the bed to give a visual alert and the vibrating pad slides under the a pillow.
Home safety visits
Jersey Fire & Rescue offers a free home safety visit, which may include the fitting of free smoke alarms for people who are at risk. A partnership with Jersey Energy is enabling the service to reach more homes - many of which have a higher risk of fire. Jersey Energy surveyors ensure smoke alarms are fitted and working as part of their energy efficiency survey, and also leave information for the resident.
"This opportunity dovetailed into our safer communities strategy as the homes identified by Jersey Energy match the ‘at risk groups’ targeted by Jersey Fire & Rescue. It will also assist in working toward our vision of 100% smoke alarm coverage in the Island," said Mr Aubert.
Last year Jersey Energy fitted around 300 smoke alarms while Jersey Fire & Rescue carried out 189 home fire safety visits and fitted 207 smoke detectors. So far in 2014, 43 safety visits have been carried out by Jersey Fire & Rescue and 45 smoke alarms have been installed.
If you need more information or advice on specialist alarms, contact Jersey Fire & Rescue for help and advice.