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Unsung heroes

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Keep your family safe – test your smoke alarms weekly

They are there protecting your family while you sleep, while you cook and when you use the tumble drier or dishwasher, but how much attention do you give your smoke alarm?

We believe smoke alarms are the unsung hero of the home. They’re there all day and through the night keeping alert, looking after you and your family.

If you test them weekly and keep their batteries topped up, they will be there 24/7 ready to alert you to a fire, giving you and your family the vital seconds needed to escape a fire.

Kent Fire and Rescue Service is encouraging families across Kent and Medway to make time for their home’s unsung heroes. Working smoke alarms are the best protection your family and your home can have against fire.

If you would like some free home safety advice, or to find out if you’re eligible for a free home safety visit, please call our home safety team – on 0800 923 7000, or email us at

All our services are free of charge.

Protecting your home and your loved ones

Over the last three years, Kent Fire and Rescue Service has attended almost 1,800 accidental fires in homes across Kent and Medway.

There is a lot you can do to keep your family safe. Depending on your lifestyle and where you live, you may be at greater risk than others, so make sure you're aware of the dangers.

Did you know that just three breaths of fire smoke can be fatal, even for a young and healthy adult? The smoke produced by a house fire is far more dangerous than the flames.

Smoke alarm advice

  • Fit smoke alarms on every level of your home.
  • Smoke alarms are cheap and easy to install, with prices starting at as little as £5.
  • Many smoke alarms - including those fitted by Kent Fire and Rescue Service - are available with a battery that lasts 10 years. Test the battery every week to make sure it works.
  • Never disconnect or remove the batteries.
  • Mains-powered alarms are powered by your home electricity supply and will need to be fitted and serviced by a qualified electrician. You may have one of these if you live in rented accommodation or purpose-built flats.
  • Don’t put alarms in or too near kitchens or bathrooms where smoke or steam can set them off by accident.
  • More smoke alarm information and advice.

Looking after your smoke alarm

  • Make checking your smoke alarm part of your regular household routine.
  • Test it by pressing the button until the alarm sounds. If it doesn't sound you need to replace the battery.
  • If your smoke alarms starts to beep on a regular basis, you need to replace the battery immediately.
  • If it is a 10 year alarm, you will need to replace the whole alarm every 10 years.

Download the activity sheet

To help you make testing your unsung hero part of your family routine every week, download our fun activity sheet for your kids and the stick it on your fridge to remind you!

Image of the Unsung heroes downloadable colouring sheet
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