Tick, tock and change plea from fire chief

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Tick, tock, test before it’s too late. That’s the message from fire chiefs who are urging people to test the batteries in their smoke alarms as the clocks go forward this weekend.

East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service is running the campaign in a bid to cut down the number of deaths in fires.

Some 211 people died in house fires last year and more than 70 per cent of those had not been alerted to the fire by a smoke alarm.

Dave Sheppard, the borough commander at ESFS, said, “Tick, Tock, Test is straight talking, easy to remember and intrinsically links clock change weekend to testing your smoke alarm.

“Everyone soon notices when a clock stops ticking, but it’s not so easy to be sure that your smoke alarm is still in working order. Whether the battery is flat, has been used for a child’s toy or the connection is loose, everyone should take the time to test.

“And, as more than half the people who died in home fires last year were 65 years old or over, this is also a perfect opportunity to test alarms for older relatives who might find it hard to reach their alarms but are at greater risk.

“By pushing the ‘test’ button on every smoke alarm, you could save the lives of your nearest and dearest – children, parents and friends alike.

“So don’t forget this clock change weekend – Tick, Tock, Test. Smoke alarms save lives but only if they work.

“A working smoke alarm can buy you and your family the priceless time you need to get out, stay out and call 999.

“You are four times more likely to survive a fire if you have a working smoke alarm.

“Fire Kills campaign’s memorable phrase - Tick, Tock, Test - provides a relevant reminder that will stay fresh in the memory when changing timepieces this weekend.”

Free home safety advice is available to everyone in the community and can be obtained by contacting East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service on 0800 177 7069 or by visiting www.esfrs.org

Free Home Safety Visits are available to anyone who is over 65, single parents, disabled/reduced mobility, hearing or sight impaired, smokers or living in rented or social housing.

The clocks go forward one hour at 1am on Sunday March 30.