Fire alarms and smoke detectors

All our properties have a smoke detector fitted. All our high-rise buildings and sheltered housing and extra care schemes have a communal fire alarm that we test every week.

If you need help to know when there is a fire alarm

If you or a member of your household needs help to know when there is a fire alarm, call 0191 525 5000 and select option 4. We will arrange a visit for you with our Fire Safety Team to look at ways we can adapt your home.

Test your smoke detector once a week

Testing your smoke detector is important for your safety. The smoke detector is an early warning system that can give you enough time to get out of your home if there is a fire.

Where possible, press and hold the test button for 3 seconds until you hear an alarm. This means the detector is working. The detector will sound for several seconds and stop automatically.

Never remove the batteries from your smoke detector

Call 0191 525 5000 to report a repair if the alarm:

  • is quiet
  • beeps constantly or occasionally

We will replace your smoke detector when you need a new one.

Smoke detector tests that we do

We will test your smoke detector once a year to make sure it is still up to date and working as well as it can.

We will test your smoke detector when we do our legally required yearly gas safety check or we will arrange a separate safety check.

False alarms

A false alarm is when the fire alarm sounds but there is no fire.

To avoid false alarms, you can:

  • put out all smoking materials before you put them in your bin
  • regularly clean ashtrays
  • put out candles and incense at night and before you leave a room, so you never leave them unattended
  • avoid using aerosols or appliances like hair straighteners and hair dryers next to smoke detectors
  • turn on your extractor fan or open your kitchen window when you cook and if you burn any food
  • turn on your extractor fan or open your bathroom window when you use the bath or shower

You can call 0191 525 5000 to report a false alarm.

For more information

For more information about fire alarms and smoke detectors, email fireandbuildingsafety@