As the clocks change for the winter this Sunday (26 October), Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service is reminding householders of the importance of having working smoke alarms.
Station Manager Damien Bence, from the community safety department, said: “The cold winter weather has already arrived, which means people are lighting fires, switching on their central heating and bringing out electric blankets. Unfortunately, we know that such actions can increase the risk of fire in the home – which is why having smoke alarms fitted and making sure they work is so important.”
He added: “Smoke alarms are inexpensive and can be bought in DIY stores and at many supermarkets. They should be fitted on every level of your home in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions provided. Get it, install it, check it – it could save your life.”
For longer term protection and peace of mind, it’s a good idea to fit 10 year smoke alarms.
The Fire & Rescue Service’s advice is:
- Once a week – test the alarm by pressing the button.
- Once a year – change the battery (unless it’s a 10-year alarm).
- Twice a year – vacuum and wipe the smoke alarm casing to ensure dust isn’t blocking the sensor chamber.
- Whatever happens – never remove the battery to use it for other purposes.
SM Bence added: “You’re more than four times as likely to survive a fire if you have a working smoke alarm. They can give you and your family the necessary warning to get out in the early stages of a fire, which should in turn allow us to get to you more quickly.”
The clock change weekend is the focus of a national safety campaign by Fire Kills, with press, radio and on-line advertising highlighting the deadly effects of inhaling smoke.
Called ‘Tick Tock Test’, the campaign is urging people to test their smoke alarms as they change their clocks on Sunday morning. Find out more about Fire Kills at www.facebook.com/firekills or www.gov.uk/firekills
Some households will qualify for a free home fire safety check from Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service. To find out more, call 0800 389 7849 or visit www.wiltsfire.gov.uk