Battery Smoke Alarms Central Housing Group

Battery Smoke Alarms Failing In Fires

The Local Government Association is sending out a stark warning to everyone that it in the majority of cases, battery smoke alarms failed when there were fires in the properties.

The LGA is urging people including tenants and landlords, to carry out smoke alarm tests immediately and at regular intervals afterwards, as its recent study found that in property fires virtually two thirds of battery smoke alarms had failed across England during the last year.
The majority of rented properties do contain battery powered smoke alarms which are the cheaper and easier to install option; however it has be found that many are prone to failing if a fire starts in a property.
Battery powered smoke alarms in buy to let properties are mandatory for landlords to install, however fire-fighters reported that more than 7,500 fires in homes contained battery powered alarms last year, with 38% failing to go off to warn the occupants of the danger.
The research also found that nearly half of alarm failures (45%) were because of not being properly positioned, whilst 20% of fires in the properties were undetected either by faulty batteries or not having any.
Between 1st April 2018 and 31st March 2019 of the 29,586 property fires that were investigated and attended in England, 22,475 homes had fitted smoke alarms.
In 7,692 homes that did have battery powered smoke alarms, 38% (2,899) failed to go off; 21% of the mains powered alarms were reported failing to work in fires.
Councillor Ian Stephens, chair of the LGA’s fire services management committee, said: “Smoke alarms are proven life-savers, but these worrying ‘failure’ rates are a reminder to people to test their smoke alarms regularly and change batteries where necessary.
“Smoke alarm ownership has risen over the years to more than 90 per cent, but this encouraging trend is being dangerously undermined if they don’t activate due to faulty batteries.

“The run-up to the festive season is a timely reminder of the importance of fire safety, but working batteries aren’t just for toys at Christmas they are needed in smoke alarms all-year round.”

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