Test your smoke alarms warning

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THE FIRE KILLS campaign is urging people in Lewes and Wealden to make a potentially life-saving move when they change their clocks on March 25 – by taking a moment to test their smoke alarms too.

A hard hitting advertising campaign, released this week, reminds people that there’s more at stake than the noise when you forget to test your smoke alarm - with a tagline stating, “We all lose an hour’s sleep this weekend – make sure you don’t lose a lot more”

A working smoke alarm can buy you valuable time to get out, stay out and call 999. But just half of all householders who own a smoke alarm say that they test that it’s working on a regular basis.

While losing that extra hour’s sleep on Sunday 25 March may not be appealing, turning the clocks forward will already be on the majority of UK households’ ‘to-do’ lists. But while we all keep our clocks working and we ensure that they stay on track, it’s shocking that many people forget to do the simplest of tests to ensure the safety of themselves and their loved ones.

You’re four times more 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 is a vital part of any household routine.

There were 491 accidental fires in the home in the ESFRS area last year, which resulted in 48 victims, 40 of whom were injured and 8 who sadly died. . The Fire Kills campaign hopes that by adding this simple check to the clock-change routine, many more lives could be saved.

David Kemp, head of community safety for ESFRS said: “Everyone soon notices when a clock stops ticking, but it’s not so easy to be sure that your smoke alarm is still in working order. Whether the battery is flat, has been removed for a kid’s toy or the connection is loose, everyone should take the time to test their smoke alarm.

“You’re four times more likely to die in a fire without a working smoke alarm, but only half of people who own one say they take the time to test it regularly.

“We’re all losing sleep at the start of British Summer Time, but testing your smoke alarm could save you from losing a lot more. As you put your clocks forward please take the time to test your smoke alarm.”

For further advice about home fire safety or to check if you are eligible for a free home safety visit, phone for free on 0800 177 7069 or visit www.esfrs.org.