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Fire Safety


There are various different types of smoke alarm, these are widely available and can cost as little as £5, depending on the type of detection it uses.

If you or a family member have a condition that may prevent or delay escape if there is a fire, you may need a specialist alarm system. Your local Fire and Rescue Service will be able to advise you further, please see the link in related information for your local Fire and Rescue Service contact details.


  • These types of smoke alarms detect free burning flames such as chip pan fires.
  • They detect the smoke before it gets thick.
  • Cost from under £5
  • Availability - can be found in most supermarkets and DIY stores


  • These are more sensitive and will detect slow burning fires
  • Less likely to go off whilst you are cooking
  • Cost from £15
  • Availability - can be found in DIY and electrical stores


  • These detect both free burning flames and slow burning fires
  • Cost from £5
  • Availability - can be found in DIY and electrical stores

Whichever model of smoke alarm you chose, look out for one which has a British Standard Kitemark symbol which indicates that the detector is an approved model.

British Standard Kitemark

Some fire services offer a home fire safety visit and provide free smoke alarms to the elderly and vulnerable, contact your local fire service for more details.


Here are some general fire safety tips, more detailed advice can be found on the websites in 'Related information' at the right of this page and also from your local Fire and Rescue Service.

  • Fit your house with smoke alarms and test them monthly
  • Never leave candles burning unattended, only place them in heat resistant holders and keep away from material that may catch fire
  • Keep matches and lighters out of the reach of children
  • Smoke outside and always make sure cigarettes are put right out
  • Never leave pans unattended when cooking
  • Do not overload plug sockets
  • Do not leave items on continuous charge
  • Unplug all non-essential electrical equipment at night
  • Get your fire and boiler regularly checked
  • Check all electrical equipment for signs of fraying wires
  • Keep heaters well away from anything that can catch alight and never use them to dry clothes
  • When you go to bed, close all doors as this helps to prevent fire and smoke spreading


Every household should have an escape plan in place just in case the worst was to happen. 

Hopefully you will never have to use it, but it is important to prepare so there is no delay when it needs to be put into action. The websites in Related Information offer much more in depth advice on how to be prepared; we have set out a few of the key pointers below:

  • Make sure your house has smoke alarms fitted and that they are tested regularly;
  • Choose the easiest escape route out of the house and make sure everyone is aware of this route;
  • Make sure the route is unblocked at all times but in case it does get blocked, always plan a second route;
  • Leave keys for doors in easy to access places;
  • Be cautious at all times; do not leave pans unattended in the kitchen, do not leave candles burning unattended, do not overload plug sockets etc.

Please see Have you got any advice for fire prevention? for further information. 


It is an offence to:

  • possess adult fireworks (all fireworks except category 1 fireworks - party poppers, sparklers, throwdowns etc) in a public place by anyone under the age of 18;
  • possess category 4 fireworks (professional display fireworks) by anyone other than a fireworks professional;
  • it is illegal to supply adult fireworks to those under 18;
  • throw or cast or fire any firework in or into any highway, street, thoroughfare or public space (this would include throwing or firing from a private place into a public place, street, highway etc);
  • to light any fire or discharge any firearm or firework (without lawful authority or excuse) within 50 feet of the centre of a highway which consists of or comprises a carriageway, and as a consequence, the highway is damaged.

There is a curfew on the use of adult fireworks between 11 pm and 7 am, except on:

  • Bonfire Night (when the curfew is between 12 midnight and 7 am);
  • New Year's Eve (when the curfew is between 1 am and 7 am);
  • Chinese New Year (when the curfew is between 1 am and 7 am);
  • Diwali Night (when the curfew is between 1 am and 7 am).

The penalties for using fireworks outside the above curfew hours are imprisonment (maximum 6 months) and a substantial fine. Please note, you could also commit offences if they were being used to cause a nuisance.

Please see websites in Related Information for details from the Health and Safety Executive on how to safely use fireworks and organise a fireworks display.


All Welsh councils have banned the use of Chinese lanterns on council owned/controlled land. Many councils in England have also introduced a ban on such lanterns and we advise that you check the position of your local authority. You can find your local authority by entering your postcode into the link below:

Find your local council 

Sky lanterns can be a fire hazard with the potential to cause serious injury as well as damage to property. They can also harm wildlife, livestock and other animals. 

The National Fire Chiefs Council does not advocate the use of sky lanterns under any circumstances, at any time. 

Please see the websites in related links for more information.

Contact your local police force

Enter your town or postcode to see information from your local force

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