Fire Service Advice: Turn the Clock Back and Test Your Smoke Alarm
|Published: 20th October 2011 18:43|
Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service (DSFRS) are urging people to push the button on their smoke alarm to test it is still working at the same time they change their clocks on the weekend of Sunday 30 October.
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. Checking your smoke alarm at the same time only takes a moment but can be a potentially life-saving action. DSFRS and The Fire Kills Campaign hopes that by adding this simple check to the clock-change routine, many more lives will be saved.
Fire Investigation Support Officer, Mike Burroughs said: "Time and again my investigations demonstrate the importance of early warnings in case of fire and for people to respond promptly to that warning. I can't emphasise enough that people should not ignore fire alarms, think it is "just another false alarm" or worse still disable their alarm.
"Many people only experience fire when they see it in fictional programmes on the TV or at the cinema, so they are taken by surprise when they come across the real thing. Fire can grow more quickly than most people realise."
Fatal and non-fatal casualties
In Devon & Somerset between April 2010 and March 2011 there were ten fire fatalities; two (17 per cent) fewer than in 2009-10 and accidental dwelling fire fatalities, which account for 40% of all fire fatalities, were down by four from eight in 2009-10 to five in 2010-11.
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
- make sure that everyone in your home knows what to do in a fire and practise your escape route.
Never remove the battery out of your smoke alarm!