Home safety Fire safety

How to protect your home from fire, including how often to test your smoke alarm.

A close-up shot of two hands testing a smoke alarm

We fit smoke alarms in all our properties, but we need you to test your alarms regularly too. This is the most important thing you can do to protect yourself from a fire in your home.

Your smoke alarm

Test your smoke alarm, and any carbon monoxide detectors, at least once a month by pressing the test button. 

If the alarm doesn’t sound, replace the battery. If you have a mains-powered smoke alarm fitted, contact us immediately so we can arrange to fix it. Always let us know if there’s a problem with your smoke alarm. 

If you are deaf or have hearing loss, your local authority should be able to provide you with a sensory alarm to alert you if your smoke or carbon monoxide alarm sounds. 

Fire safety tips

Here are some other simple steps to protect your family from the risk of fire in your home:

  • Take care in the kitchen – don't leave the hob or oven unattended and keep electrical appliances and leads away from water
  • Regularly clean lint from your tumble dryer
  • Avoid using candles – if you do use them, don’t leave them unattended 
  • Keep soft furnishings away from anything that generates heat, such as candles or light bulbs
  • If you smoke, make sure you stub any cigarettes out completely 
  • Don’t leave your BBQ unattended and make sure it’s extinguished completely when you’ve finished using it
  • Check our tips to help you use electricity safely 

Having an escape plan could make all the difference if there’s a fire in your home. Smoke makes it almost impossible to see when you’re trying to escape, so have a plan of how you’d get out quickly in an emergency:

  • The best exit is usually the nearest exit but have a backup in case it’s blocked, such as a ground floor window
  • Keep keys near doors and windows, so it’s quicker to get out. For security reasons, make sure no one can reach them from outside.
  • Make sure everyone knows the plan and practice it with your family 

If a fire breaks out in your home, call 999 immediately and follow the advice of the emergency services. 

Fire safety in flats or shared buildings

If you live in a flat or shared building, we have extra advice and procedures to keep you and your neighbours safe. You can find this information on our fire safety in shared buildings page. 

Safe and Well visits

Fire and rescue services provide free Safe and Well visits to help you reduce the risk of fire in your home. 

A firefighter will visit your home to talk to you about home fire safety. They can check and fit smoke alarms and help you make a fire escape plan, as well as offer health and wellbeing advice. 

You can find more information about Safe and Well visits from your local fire and rescue service: