LFBThe London Fire Brigade has welcomed changes to the English Housing Survey Questionnaire which will now include a question asking residents when their smoke alarms were last tested.

The announcement comes in a week which has seen smoke alarms help save the lives of four people in two serious fires in London. Brigade research shows that 80% of Londoners have a smoke alarm but in over half the home fires attended by the Brigade there was no working smoke alarm.

London Fire Brigade Group Manager Mark Hazelton said: “Smoke alarms give vital early warning if there is a fire and if the resident can’t call the Brigade it may alert a neighbour to dial 999. People know that they should test their smoke alarms regularly but we’ve never had reliable information to say whether people actually do this.

“This change to the housing survey will give us a greater understanding of people’s behaviour and help us in our on going work to reduce the risk of death and serious injuries from fire.”

The English Housing Survey is a national survey of people's housing circumstances and the condition and energy efficiency of housing in England. Results from the survey are also used by a wide range of other users including other government departments, local authorities, housing associations, landlords, academics, construction industry professionals, consultants, and the general public.

A key part of London Fire Brigade’s fire prevention work is to promote the life saving importance of smoke alarms and top encourage Londoners to fit them. On the back of this week’s two incidents the Brigade has reissued it’s ‘Love your smoke alarm’ social media campaign using Twitter and Facebook to ask the public to show their smoke alarms some love and give the big red button a push.