Fire Kills 180Households are being asked to regularly test their smoke alarms to prevent fire deaths, as part of a new Fire Kills campaign launched by Fire Minister Mike Penning.

The campaign is running for one month across radio, print, digital, outdoor and social media to raise awareness of the importance of a working smoke alarm during the winter months when there is an increase in fire-related emergencies and deaths.

Find out more: 'Unsung heroes – the friendly Fire Kills campaign'

There were 188 deaths from fires in the home last year yet just half of all householders who own smoke alarms say that they test whether they are working on a regular basis.

In his first act since the Home Office assumed responsibility for fire and rescue policy, Minister for Policing, Fire, Criminal Justice and Victims, Mike Penning, said: "With only half of people who own alarms testing them regularly, this campaign gives us a timely reminder to make sure our smoke alarms are working properly.

"Research shows you are four times more likely to die in a fire if you live in a home without working smoke alarms. I would encourage everyone to make sure you test your smoke alarms as soon as possible and get into the habit of testing them each month as they can save you and your family’s lives."

The campaign highlights how you members of the public can help themselves stay safe in the home by following these simple steps:
● Make sure you fit smoke alarms on every level of your home and test them monthly.
● Make testing your smoke alarms part of your household routine in 3 easy steps:
1. Test them by pressing their buttons once a month
2. Change your battery once a year (if it has a one year battery)
3. Clean the alarm casing to ensure dust isn't blocking the sensor twice a year
● Whatever happens, never remove the battery in your smoke alarm unless you are replacing it.
● Make sure that everyone in your home knows what to do in a fire and knows your escape route.

Find out more at and support the campaign at and on twitter @Fire_Kills.

Get more insight on the campaign by subscribing to February's FIRE Magazine which also features a 'Flood Focus'