Make time to test smoke alarm
Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS) has issued a reminder to test your smoke alarms. Also, remember elderly or vulnerable neighbours who might also benefit from your help to ensure their smoke alarm is properly maintained.
Use a vacuum cleaner
As the dark evenings set in and we all start to spend a lot more time indoors, so the risk of having a fire in your home can be increased. Many fires start at night, so make sure you have a night-time fire safety routine to help keep you and your family safe. You should:
- close all doors at night
- empty ashtrays
- extinguish candles
- switch off and unplug all electrical appliances not designed to stay on
- put up fire guards
Take a few potentially life-saving minutes to clean your smoke alarms by gently using your vacuum cleaner to remove any dust or insects that may be hiding within it.
Doing this twice a year and testing your smoke alarm once a week, by pressing the test button enabling the alarm to sound for at least five seconds, will ensure that your smoke alarm is in good working order.
A working smoke alarm will alert you and your family to the earliest stages of a fire giving you vital extra time to escape.
You can find out more about fire safety at the following nidirect pages:
- Fire safety in the home (leisure, home and community section)
- Fire prevention (leisure, home and community section)
Check heaters and electric blankets
It's also important to check portable heaters and electrical blankets, as they might not have been used since the last winter.
If your electric blanket is out of guarantee, have it serviced once a year and never use a blanket which has scorched marks or exposed elements.
Make sure you switch portable heaters off if you’re not in the room and also when you go to bed. Remember: don’t place heaters near curtains or furnishings and never use them for drying clothes.
Home Fire Safety Check
A free Home Fire Safety Check could also form part of your spring cleaning routine. Firefighters will check your home to help make it fire safe.
They will check for appliances that could cause fire, help with any actions to avoid fire and most importantly ensure that your smoke alarm is working. If necessary NIFRS will fit a free smoke alarm for you.
To arrange a free Home Fire Safety Check, contact the NIFRS by:
- phone: 028 9260 0477
- internet: Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service website
Always remember that if a fire starts, get out, stay out and call 999. Remember your life is worth more than precious belongings.
More useful links
- Fire Safety Week aiming to STOP fire (newsroom section)
- Escaping and recovering from a fire (leisure, home and community section)
- Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (leisure, home and community section)
- Find your local fire and rescue service (do it online section)
- Support and safety in your home (leisure, home and community section)
- Fire safety - Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service website