Smoke alarms save lives

East Devon residents are urged to ensure their smoke alarms are in working order.

A reminder has been issued by Devon & Somerset Fire and Rescue Service to residents of East Devon to ensure their smoke alarms are in working order and are regularly checked. This important message comes after a house fire this week led to an elderly woman’s death, and left her son in a critical condition in hospital.

Whilst the house was fitted with three smoke alarms, only one of the three fitted smoke alarms was working and this was too far from the source of the fire to give an early enough warning for the occupants of the house.

“Installing a smoke alarm couldn’t be easier and only takes a few minutes. This could be the most important few minutes of your life,” says a spokesperson for Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service.

The installation and maintenance of a smoke alarm in a house is absolutely crucial and they are able to be bought from any good supermarket or hardware store for an inexpensive price, which could save your life. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions - the best place for a smoke alarm is the ceiling near the centre of the room or hallway, and ideally there should be one alarm on each level of your home.

The maintenance of smoke alarms is equally as important as the initial installation of the alarm . They should be tested once a week by pressing the test button until the alarm sounds, the batteries should be changed once a year and the whole unit should be replaced every decade.

For more information visit the fire and rescue service’s website at or call their safety team on 01392 872339.

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The effort required to install a smoke alarm is extremely minimal and the cost behind it has no relevance when it’s true value could be your life.