Teach your children to be alerted by smoke alarms

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Kids smoke alarm safety

Most young children fail to wake up to the sound of a standard smoke alarm, a BBC investigation has found.

BBC Watchdog Live carried out a test on eight children aged between 16 months to 10 years old.

Only one out of the eight children filmed by the consumer programme showed any sign of being woken by the alarm.

Firms selling alarms should make it clear that they might fail to wake children, parents said.

In the BBC’s test, the only child who woke up got out of bed to get a teddy before going back to bed and falling asleep.

The manufacturers should make it clear that the alarm isn’t guaranteed to wake up everyone in the house, said Jo Leigh, the mother of two of the children who slept through the alarm during Watchdog’s test.

“It is absolutely essential that the packaging makes parents aware that the smoke alarm might not wake your children up,” she said.

Fire investigator Dave Coss from Derbyshire Fire and Rescue, in conjunction with the University of Dundee, also carried out testing on 644 children and found that only 28% woke up to the standard alarm.

The packaging on smoke alarms does not carry any warning about children potentially not waking up, despite research demonstrating that some children do not respond to standard alarms.

The team at CAVIUS recommend that the whole family are involved when it comes to planning an escape route and testing or installing smoke alarms. Make sure your children are aware of where the smoke alarms are located in your home and the reason for them being there.

We encourage everyone to plan a clear escape plan with all the family members to ensure that everyone knows what to do in the event of a fire.

Additionally, make sure the children are involved when testing your smoke alarms to ensure they know what sounds to look out for.

For more information on our safety products, click here.

To speak to our team, call: 0330 999 0019