The clocks go back on Saturday 25th October and the Government’s Fire Kills campaign is once again reminding people to test their smoke alarms at the same time.
As well as running a high profile campaign each time the clocks change, Fire Kills uses social media to promote monthly humorous videos featuring unusual ways for testing smoke alarms. These have included use of a skateboard, a remote controlled helicopter and a human pyramid!
Those people wishing to test their smoke alarms regularly can take advantage of Safelincs free smoke alarm reminder service and set their own pattern for having their memories jogged. We’ll send a reminder email at a frequency set by you.
Smoke alarm ownership increased rapidly from 8% in 1988 to 70% in 1994 in England, and has continued to rise and it’s now over 88%. However, it’s crucial that they are tested regularly and the batteries changed each year (unless the smoke alarm is a ten year alarm with a sealed-in battery).
After ten years a smoke alarm should be replaced. In many cases, alarm owners can use the existing base plate and directly install a replacement smoke or heat alarm without the need for an electrician.
Six out of ten people who died in fires in 2009 had no smoke alarm fitted in their home, according to figures released by London Fire Brigade. 26 people died in fires where there was no working smoke alarm. The statistics also show that over half of the people who were injured by fires in the home in 2009 didn’t have this simple life saving device either.
Smoke alarms cost as little as £7.19 yet it is estimated that over 300,000 homes in the capital still do not have one. In contrast, Mintel’s British lifestyle survey reveals that people are spending £36 million a day on personal care.
Particularly tragic are instances where deaths have occurred in residences where smoke alarms had been installed but where either the batteries had been removed to power other devices or they had been allowed to go flat.
Safelincs supports the national Fire Kills campaign to encourage people to regularly test the batteries of their smoke alarms. It also provides a free smoke alarm reminder service which will notify you if your smoke alarms will need testing or replacing.
Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service are highlighting the increased dangers of house fires over the Christmas period. Gavin Roberts, Barrow Fire Station’s deputy location manager, warns that due to the additional fire risks that Christmas can bring there is a significant rise in the chance of a house fire during the festive season.
He warns that it is essential to ensure that your smoke alarms are in good working order and that they should be tested on a regular basis. To help remind people to check their smoke alarms, Barrow Fire Service are prompting people to use our free reminder service.