24 October 2011

A new hard-hitting national advertising campaign is urging people to make a potentially life-saving move when they change their clocks this weekend (Sunday 30 October) by taking a moment to test their smoke alarm too.

The twice-yearly clock change is a task that everybody takes for granted and many British households will already have turning the clocks back on their to-do list for the next weekend.

Statistics show that people are more than four times as likely to die in a fire if their smoke alarm is not working, so it is worth ensuring that the simple act of testing alarms becomes a household routine too.

There were 381 accidental fires in the home in Northamptonshire last year, which tragically resulted in two deaths and 23 casualties.

Councillor Andre Gonzalez de Savage, county council cabinet member for infrastructure and public protection said: “As you put your clocks back on the 29th or 30th, think about fire safety. Whether you are changing your own clocks, or those of your loved ones, it would just take a few extra moments to push the button on your smoke alarm too – it could save a life.”

Lisa Bryan from the fire and rescue service’s community protection department said: “Everyone notices when a clock stops ticking, but the condition of your smoke alarm isn’t so obvious .The battery could be flat or you may have forgotten that you have removed it and used it for a child’s toy. The only way to be sure it’s working is to test it.

”We’re all looking forward to getting that extra hour’s sleep at the end of British Summer Time, knowing that your smoke alarm is working will help you to sleep that little bit better.”

Help keep yourself and your loved ones safe in the home by following these simple steps:

  • A working smoke alarm can buy you valuable time to get out, stay out and call 999. Make sure you fit one on every level of your home and test them regularly.
  • Make testing your smoke alarm part of your household routine. Check the alarm by pressing the button regularly; change your battery once a year or invest in a 10-year alarm; and clean the alarm casing twice a year to ensure dust isn't blocking the sensor.
  • Whatever happens, never remove the battery in your smoke alarm.
  • Make sure that everyone in your home knows what to do in a fire and practise your escape route.
  • For more information visit the Fire Kills campaign’s Facebook page at facebook.com/firekills

If you want an extra nudge to test your smoke alarm regularly, try setting an automatic reminder. Safelincs, in partnership with the Fire Kills campaign has created a free service that reminds you, by email or text, when it’s time to test your smoke alarm, change the battery or renew the unit. The service is completely free and can be cancelled at any time.