Sunday, 28 October 2012

Take time to test your smoke alarm

Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service are reminding people that you should all be testing your smoke alarms when you change your clocks this weekend.
The twice-yearly clock change is a task that everybody takes for granted. Turning the clocks back for an extra hour in bed will already be on the ‘to-do’ list for the majority of British households over the clock change weekend.
But while timekeeping is a vital part of our lives and we all keep our clocks working, many people forget to ensure the safety of themselves and their loved ones by keeping their smoke alarm in the same working order.
You’re more than four times as likely to die in a fire if your smoke alarm is not working. So it’s clear that the simple act of testing your alarm needs to be a vital part of any household routine as well.
There were 327 accidental fires in the home in Northamptonshire last year, which resulted in many people being injured and 1 fatality. The county’s Fire and Rescue Service hopes that by adding this simple smoke alarm check to the clock-change routine, these deaths and injuries can be reduced in the future.
Warren Ellison from their 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.” 

“As you put your clocks back that weekend, think about fire safety. Most people will get a chair or stepladder out to change their own or a loved one’s clock, just take an extra moment to push the button on the smoke alarm too– it could save a life.”

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
“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.”

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.