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NATIONAL FIRE SAFETY WEEK – “Smoke Alarms Save Lives” (6/10/20)

An Garda Síochána support the first virtual National Fire Safety Week was officially launched via an online video by Darragh O’Brien T.D., Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage. 

National Fire Safety Week, 5th - 12th October 2020, jointly run with the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service, is about enhancing fire safety, particularly in the home. This year’s theme is “Smoke Alarms Save Lives”. The campaign will focus on Fire Safety in the home as the public continues to spend an increased amount of time at home during the public health situation.  

The key messages which are to be communicated are

  • Operated through the Local Authorities, the Fire Services give out thousands of smoke alarms for free to the vulnerable every year and install them but there are still homes with no smoke alarms. In the last 5 years, at least 32% of fires that resulted in fatalities had no working smoke alarm.
  • Although fire fatalities have been steadily declining, an average of 27 people died in fires in Ireland per year over the last 5 years and every death is one too many.
  • Smoke alarms should be tested every week. The Fire Services use #TestItTuesday as a reminder.
  • Most people who die in fires, die from smoke inhalation and not from burns and it can take as little as 3 minutes to die from smoke inhalation.
  • Smoke will not wake a sleeping person but likely put them into a deeper sleep. A smoke alarm is a vital protection to give precious minutes to escape.
  • The importance of disposing safely of smoking materials after use, especially at bedtime.
  • Vulnerable members of our community should not be overlooked.
  • A routine fire safety check only takes a few minutes but could mean the difference between life and death.
  • Have a fire escape plan, teach it to your family and practice it regularly.

Information on fire safety is available on the websites below:




Picture: Gardaí from Castletownbere Garda Station along with the fire service made it across to Bere Island and met with the locals where crime prevention advice and fire safety advice was given to those who attended the meet and greet earlier in the year. 

Left to right: Garda Dave Fenton, Donal O’Neill Fire Service, Paddy Harrington Island resident, Ian Murphy Fire Service and Sergeant Stephen O Sullivan - photographed in February 2020

Working smoke alarm saves lives