CHESHIRE Fire and Rescue Service is urging the public to check they have the right smoke alarm in their homes.

The advice is part of Home Safety Week, which ends on Sunday and households are encouraged to check smoke alarms are right to make sure they provide them with an early warning in the event of a fire.

Most homes have smoke alarms installed (95 per cent) but in nearly 20% of accidental house fires in the UK, the alarm failed to activate.

The most common reasons were the smoke failed to reach the detector and because batteries were either missing or defective.

As part of the campaign, Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service is encouraging people to:

  • Replace alarms every ten years – even if they appear to work when tested
  • Fit additional alarms in the rooms used most
  • Install interlinked alarms, so when one activates they all do
  • Purchase sealed unit alarms so batteries cannot be removed or tampered with

Nick Evans, head of the service's prevention department, said: "It is really important that people think beyond installing a smoke alarm on the landing and in the hallway, and think about the risks in their own home to ensure they have the right detection in the right places. Which may mean installing more alarms, particularly in the rooms used most.

"Home detection technology has advanced and products with sealed batteries or interlinked systems are available and as part of your home safety plan it may give you precious minutes to escape if a fire starts."