Fire chiefs are urging people to make a new year’s resolution to test their smoke alarms every month in 2015 – and beyond.
With the New Year underway, East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service is asking residents locally to make sure their smoke alarms are up to date, in the right place and that they test them every month.
Eastbourne’s fire station commander Dave Sheppard said, “Why not circle the first of every month on your new calendar and tick it off when you have tested your alarms?
“Many people see January as an opportunity for a fresh start, and safety should be top of the list. So this month we are encouraging everyone to make sure they have enough smoke alarms in the home and that they work. It only takes a few seconds and saves lives.
“A smoke alarm can give someone the few extra seconds they need to escape in a fire. While the majority of homes across the country now have an alarm fitted, most people are not aware that the average alarm has a lifespan of just ten years and then needs replacing.
“For people who live in a multi-storey home or a larger property a single smoke alarm is simply not enough.
“Last year, in nearly half of all fires in the home where the smoke alarm did not give a warning the reason was that the alarm was not close enough to detect the fire. Missing or flat batteries were another major cause.”
To keep your alarms in working order make sure there is at least one smoke alarm on every level of your home; test your smoke alarms by pushing the button every month; check that your smoke alarms are less than 10 years old; fit smoke alarms on landings and hallways and near bedrooms. Also consider in rooms which have an electrical appliance such as a heater, or other risk; take a moment to check on your loved ones who may need help to ensure they’re fully protected.
Dave said, “At this time of year, many people will be thinking of what they can do – big or small – to make a fresh start and improve their lives, homes and wellbeing.
“A smoke alarm can offer vital protection for you and your loved ones, but most people simply fit and forget – they don’t know if it might be coming to the end of its lifespan or not working at all.
“For most of us, there is nothing more important than keeping our loved ones safe and secure. So if your alarm is getting past its best or your top floor is missing an alarm of its own, make your New Year’s resolution to fit new ones, test them on the first of every month and protect your loved ones in 2015.“
Free home safety advice is available to everyone in the community and obtained by contacting ESFRS on 0800 177 7069 or by visiting www.esfrs.org
Free Home Safety Visits are available to anyone over 65, single parents, disabled/reduced mobility, hearing or sight impaired, smokers or people living in rented or social housing.