Release Date: 26 April 2017
Privately renting tenants in Richmond upon Thames and their landlords are being given the opportunity to collect free smoke alarms to help save lives.
Richmond Council is partnering up with Richmond Fire Brigade to distribute around 1,000 free smoke alarms to people living in privately rented properties across the borough, thanks to funding from the GLA.
Every year the fire and rescue service is called to over 600,000 fires across the country. About 50,000 (140 a day) of these are in the home and kill nearly 500 and injure over 11,000. Many of these incidents could have been prevented if people had an early warning and were able to get out in time.
From this week, Whitton, Teddington, Twickenham, Richmond and East Sheen libraries will be collection points for the free alarms.*
All tenants need to do is visit the library and provide the address of the property they need alarms for. They can receive one alarm for a single level flat or bungalow – or two if it is a house or there is an upstairs level.
Houda Al Sharifi, Director of Public Health for Richmond Council, said:
“Smoke alarms are proven life savers. They give warning at the first sign of fire, waking you and your family up and giving everyone the time they need to get safely out and call the fire service.
“The private rented sector provides homes for some of our most vulnerable residents and there is no doubt that smoke alarms will make privately rented accommodation safer and save lives.
"Together with the Fire Brigade we want to help Richmond’s private landlords meet their fire safety responsibilities and would urge them to collect free smoke alarms if they haven’t got them installed already.”
Station Commander, Simon Brownings, said:
“The London Fire Brigade is continuing to work in partnership with Richmond upon Thames Council to ensure we are delivering the right safety messages. Smoke alarms are an essential item and have proven to save lives. We aim to make London the safest global city and these free smoke alarms will play a small but significant part in that”.
In addition to the free smoke alarms for private tenants, all residents including owner occupiers can request a Home Fire Safety Visit direct from the London Fire Brigade, especially older people, those living alone or who have a disability.
You can apply for a free Home Fire Safety Visit online or phone 0800 028 4428.
*Free smoke alarms are available (whilst stocks last) for privately renting tenants in Richmond upon Thames.
Every year the Fire Service is called to many fires in the home which could have been prevented if people had an early warning and were able to get out in time. Working smoke alarms provide vital early warning and greatly reduce the risk of being injured in a fire. Homes need multiple smoke alarms or you won’t be properly covered. Ideal spots for smoke alarms include rooms where you leave electrical equipment running like satellite boxes, computers or heaters; any room where you smoke, and anywhere you charge your mobile or laptop.
As a minimum you should have smoke alarms on every floor - in the hallways and the rooms you use the most, plus a heat alarm in the kitchen. They should be tested regularly.
If you are a journalist and would like further information about this press release, contact Elinor Firth on 020 8487 5159.
Updated: 28 April 2017