This article was published on March 21, 2012 and information contained within may now be out of date.
Lose an hour – not your life. That’s the message from Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue as it encourages people to test their smoke alarm alongside changing their clocks.
On 25 March, the clocks will go forward in every home across the country. Firefighters are urging people to test their smoke alarms as part of this routine.
It’s in a bid to reduce the number of people who are killed in accidental house fires in England each year – more than 200. Almost 40 per cent of these happened in homes where no smoke alarm was fitted.
Here in Lincolnshire, 20 per cent of accidental house fires in 2011 occurred in a property with no smoke alarm, resulting in 12 casualties. While 30 per cent were in homes fitted with a smoke alarm that did not work, leaving four people injured.
Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue advises testing smoke alarms every week and looking after them by following the manufacturers’ instructions. This usually includes vacuuming off the dust at least every three months.
Steve Wright from Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue says:
“You’re more than four times as likely to die in a fire if you haven’t got a working smoke alarm. They’re the easiest way to alert you to the danger of fire, giving you precious time to escape. What’s more, they’re cheap, easy to get hold of and easy to fit. Getting one and testing it regularly is the easiest way to give yourself a fighting chance.”
The advice is just as important for people who have had an alarm fitted by Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue as part of a free home fire safety check. Steve adds:
“Even if you’ve already have a smoke alarm fitted by us, that doesn’t make you invulnerable. It only takes a couple of seconds to press the button and make sure it still works. If it doesn’t, or if it’s fallen off the ceiling or been damaged in any way, give us a call and we’ll replace it.”
For more information on fire safety in the home, along with details of smoke alarms and how best to install them, visit Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue’s website.
For a free home fire safety check, which – where appropriate – includes alarms being fitted, contact 01522 582222 and ask for the Community Fire Safety Department, or email HFSC@lincoln.fire-uk.org