A new national smoke alarm-testing campaign has been launched today (Monday January 11) which firefighters hope will change the way we feel about the ‘unsung heroes’ in our home and help save lives.
People are four times more likely to die in a house fire when there is no working smoke detector. However, while the majority of homes now have a smoke detector, many people don’t carry out a regular test to ensure they are working.
Recent research into people’s attitudes towards their smoke alarms revealed that many people don’t like their detectors because they sometimes go off when the toaster is being used, or beep in the middle of the night when the battery is low. In fact, the research revealed that the proven life-savers are less popular than TV journalist Piers Morgan.
The new national campaign aims to change people’s relationship with their smoke detectors; encouraging them to see them as unsung heroes in their home and pay them more attention by giving them a regular test.
Jackie Boyle, Community Fire Safety Manager for West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service, said:
“We know that smoke detectors are life-savers, but there is a temptation to fit them and then forget about them. We are asking people not to ignore their detectors and get in the habit of testing them regularly. A test only takes a few seconds and gives you the peace of mind of knowing that you are protected.
"Please don't forget about those members of your family or neighbours who may need a little help testing their smoke alarms. We offer free Home Safety Visits where we give advice and, where appropriate, fit smoke detectors or other specialist fire detection equipment. We give priority to those who are elderly or more vulnerable."
West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service advice:
• Make sure you have smoke alarms on every level of your home.
• Check your smoke alarms work by pressing their ‘test’ buttons once a month.
• Change the batteries once a year if your smoke alarms have removable batteries.
• After 10 years it's best to get a whole new alarm.
• Clean the casing around your smoke alarms twice a year to ensure dust isn't blocking the sensors.
• Make sure everyone in your home knows what to do in a fire and knows the escape route.
Would you or someone you know benefit from a Home Safety Visit? Call on 0845 872 9719 or visit www.westsussex.gov.uk/fire to find if you are eligible.