Surrey Fire and Rescue Service are urging residents to regularly test their smoke alarms, as they are four times more likely to die in a fire without a working smoke alarm.
There were 527 accidental fires in the home in Surrey last year, resulting in three deaths and 145 injuries. Many of these fires could have been prevented if the householders had a working smoke alarm. This month Surrey Fire and Rescue Service hope that residents will make testing their smoke alarm a regular routine, starting with when the clocks go back on Sunday 30 October.
Cabinet Member for Community Safety Kay Hammond said: “Putting the clocks forward or back has become almost second nature to all of us, but so should checking that your smoke alarm is in good working order. We want all Surrey residents to make a point of regularly testing the alarms. It doesn’t take long and a working smoke alarm can buy you valuable time to get out of a fire situation safely and dial 999.”
Group Manager Chris Gill of Surrey Fire and Rescue Service said: “Only half of people who own an alarm say they take the time to check it regularly. As you put your clocks back on October 29 or 30, take an extra moment to push the button – it could save your 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 facebook.com/firekills or www.surrey-fire.gov.uk
If you want an extra nudge to test your smoke alarm regularly, try setting an automatic reminder. Safelincs, in partnership with Fire Kills 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. Visit www.safelincs.co.uk/reminders
Notes to editors
- British Summer Time (BST) ends on the last Sunday in October. This year the clocks go back at 2.00 am BST on 30 October to 1.00 am GMT.
- There were 31,477 accidental fires in the home in England last year, which resulted in 6,641 deaths and injuries. http://www.communities.gov.uk/publications/corporate/statistics/monitorq1q42011