Fire chief’s clock changing advice

The town’s top fireman has warned locals to remember to keep their smoke alarms fully charged and says the changing of the clocks later this month is an excellent time to check yours is working properly.

Dave Sheppard, the borough commander for Eastbourne at East Sussex Fire & Rescue, is trying to hammer home the message that checking alarms saves lives and wants residents to take five minutes on October 28 or 29 to make sure theirs are safe.

Mr Sheppard told the Gazette, “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 kid’s toy or the connection is loose, everyone should take the time to test their smoke alarm.

“You’re more than four times as likely to die in a fire without a working smoke alarm, but only half of people who own an alarm say they take the time to check it regularly.

“We’re all looking forward to getting that extra hours sleep at the end of British Summer Time, but knowing that your smoke alarm is in working order could help you sleep that little bit better. As you put your clocks back, remember to also push the button on your smoke alarm – it could save your life.”

Fire experts claim a working smoke alarm can buy people valuable time to get out of a house but just half of all householders who own a smoke alarm say they test it’s working on a regular basis.

A fire spokesman said, “You’re more than four times as likely to die in a fire if your smoke alarm is not working. So it’s clear that the simple act of testing your alarm is a vital part of any household routine.”