Smoke alarms save lives, and everyone across the county is being urged to be alarm alert.

Cumbria County Council’s Fire and Rescue Service and the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) are highlighting just how vital alarms are, as part of Home Safety Week, which runs from Monday until October 4.

With smoke alarms failing to activate in 20% of fires in the UK, and the fire being outside the alarm's range as the most common reason, the teams are encouraging homeowners to install an alarm of every level of the home.

Testing alarms regularly and replacing them every 10 years is also strongly recommended by the services.

Will Richardson, Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service prevention manager, said: “Smoke alarms do save lives but only if they work.

"Test yours every month to make sure they are in good working order, and approximately every six months clean them out so they are in the best working order possible."

He continued: "Smoke detectors have a life span of ten years and must be changed.

"Inside they have a sensor that will decay over time, so it’s well worth setting a reminder on your phone’s calendar to prompt you about your monthly tests, six monthly hoover and ten-year exchange.”

During the pandemic, Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service has carried out telephone-based Safe and Well Visits which aim to help people live independently and deal with any potential fire hazards in their homes.

If potential fire hazards are found, the Service can visit homes to give further advice and, when needed, fit a new smoke detector.

James Bywater, NFCC lead for home detection, said: "NFCC want people to think about the risks in their homes, and ensure they take action to prevent incidents and that they have the right detection in the right places to be alert if an incident happens.”

It has also been found that only about 15% of households have carbon monoxide CO alarms.

CO is a highly poisonous gas, which you cannot see, taste or smell, and NFCC recommend placing a CO alarm in any room with an open fire, wood burning stove or gas appliance, such as a boiler or cooker.

For more advice and information, visit the Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service website here.