Check your smoke alarms when the clocks go back

Fire Kills, part of the Department for  Communities and Local Government, will again be running its campaign to encourage us to test their smoke alarms at the same time as we put our clocks back at the end of October.

fire-kills-2Smoke alarm maintenance has long been the primary message of the Fire Kills national advertising. With smoke alarm ownership levels at around 88%, it is evident from the statistics and real-life cases that not all of these work. The latest evidence shows that you are four times more likely to die in a fire in the home if you do not have a working smoke alarm.

Between April 2011 and March 2012 there were 380 fires deaths, many of which might have been avoided had smoke alarms been fitted. Indeed, there have been incidents where firemen at the scene of a tragedy have found that smoke alarms were present and the batteries had been allowed to go flat or, in some instances, removed to power other appliances.

The campaign will include advertisements on commercial radio stations. In the past it was felt that the campaigns lacked a catchy tag line which it now has – ‘Tick, Tock, Test!’

There will also be advertisements in the national press and and a social media campaign with videos on You Tube.

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Clocks Are Going Forward – Now Test Your Smoke Alarms

Fire Kills, the Government’s safety campaign, will again be encouraging people to test their smoke alarms when the clocks go forward at the end of March.

Safelincs is a partner of Fire Kills and has worked for a number of years supporting the message that encourages householders to regularly check their smoke alarms. In this age of austerity Fire Kills is no longer able to run long and expensive television campaigns so it now concentrates its efforts twice a year when the clocks change.

Twice a year is the bare minimum for testing alarms; manufacturers often recommend once a week. Several years ago Safelincs established a free smoke alarm reminder service whereby you can receive an email or text to remind you to test your alarms.

The frequency of these reminders can be set to suit what is best for you. You will also be reminded when it’s time to change the battery and when the alarm has reached the end of its reliable life and should be replaced.

Fire Kills will be promoting the message through national newspapers and through a local radio campaign around the time of the clock change. There is also a new smoke alarm video which can be viewed here.

Last year there were 30,709 accidental fires in the home across the country, and fifteen children’s lives were lost. With smoke alarm ownership levels at around 86%, it is evident, from the statistics and real-life cases, that not all of these work. In fact there have been tragic circumstances where fatalities have occurred when a smoke alarm was present but the battery had been removed to power something else.

Latest statistics show that you are four times more likely to die in a fire in the home if you do not have a working smoke alarm.

We therefore would encourage you to test your smoke alarms when you change the clocks!