PEOPLE are being urged to make 2014 the year they resolve to ensure they have working smoke alarms in their homes.

Wiltshire Fire & Rescue service is reminding people that an alarm can make the difference between life and death, and they should make sure they regularly check them to make sure they are working properly.

Smoke alarms are inexpensive and can be bought in DIY stores and at many supermarkets. They should be fitted on every level of your home in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions provided. And they should be tested regularly.

For longer term protection and peace of mind, the service advises that it’s a good idea to fit 10-year smoke alarms.

The Fire & Rescue Service’s advice is:

• Once a week - test the alarm by pressing the button.

• Once a year - change the battery (unless it's a 10-year alarm).

• Twice a year - vacuum and wipe the smoke alarm casing to ensure dust isn’t blocking the sensor chamber.

• Whatever happens - never remove the battery to use it for other purposes. Some households will qualify for a free home fire safety check from Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service.

To find out more, call 0800 389 7849 or visit