FIREFIGHTERS are urging people to ‘Push the Button’ on their smoke alarms when they change their clocks on Sunday, March 29.
The campaign, which has proved to be a big success since its launch in 2011, encourages people to test their smoke detectors on a regular basis.
Residents are also being asked to test the smoke alarms of older or vulnerable friends, relatives and neighbours to help keep them safe too.
Statistics show that people are at least four times more likely to die in a fire in their home if they do not have a working smoke alarm and more than half of those who die in property fires are aged 65 and over.
Head of Risk Reduction Jim Bywater said: “Many people don’t realise just how dangerous smoke from a fire is – just three breaths of toxic smoke can kill. Sadly, smoke is responsible for more than half of all deaths in accidental fires in homes.
“There have been a number of incidents in Staffordshire where people have been alerted to a fire in their property thanks to their smoke alarms activating. The consequences could have been a lot worse if their detectors were not working, it really is that simple.
“Last year, nearly one in seven people tested their smoke alarms when they changed their clocks to British Summer Time. We are determined for that number to increase and would strongly urge people to check their smoke detectors this weekend. It could save your life and your family’s life.”
People can sign up for a weekly email reminder to test their smoke alarms. This can be done by logging on to http://www.staffordshirefire.gov.uk/pushthebutton.asp
Residents who are concerned about fire safety in their home can book a free Home Fire Risk Check which is carried out by crew members or trained technicians. They check every room in the property for potential fire hazards and speak to residents about their everyday behaviour in the home. Using this information, they try to identify anything that may increase the risk of a fire.
They also fit free smoke alarms in homes that do not already have them or will replace detectors if they are installed but don’t work.
People are being encouraged to book a HFRC by calling Freephone 0800 0241 999, texting 07528 983101 or visiting www.staffordshirefire.gov.uk/bookyourhfrc.asp