TICK TOCK TEST your smoke alarm before it’s too late ...
With the clock’s going back later this week, Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service is urging people in the county to get their smoke alarms tested.
Smoke, the silent killer, is responsible for over half of all deaths in accidental fires in the home in the UK.
Last year over half the 213 fire deaths in the home were caused by smoke inhalation. Working smoke alarms can give people the wake-up call they need to escape – because smoke will not, it will leave you for dead.
In the majority of domestic fires across the country with fatalities, smoke alarms were either absent or did not go off – and a common cause was missing or flat batteries. That is why the Fire Kills campaign, run in partnership with Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service, is asking people to make an online pledge to test their smoke alarms when the clocks change (25-26 October). A simple push of the test button and you will test both the power supply and the detection mechanism.
In March 2014, nearly one in seven people tested their smoke alarms when they changed their clocks to British Summer Time. This autumn, Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service wants even more people to help keep their loved ones safer from fire by testing their smoke alarms. Everyone can join in and pledge to Tick Tock Test.
Over half the people who died in fires in the home last year were 65 years old or over. So as well as testing their own alarms, Fire Kills is also urging householders to test for people who might need help testing theirs. The few seconds it takes to test could provide a few valuable minutes for loved ones to escape safely.
Stuart Horth, Head of Community Safety at Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Smoke alarms are a proven life saving tool, but they are no use if they are not working. You are at least four times more likely to die in a fire if you don’t have a working smoke alarm, so taking the time to test the smoke alarms in your home could be a truly life saving decision.
“The clock change weekend can act as a great reminder to test your smoke alarms. So over the weekend of 25-26 October why not test yours when you change the clocks.”
Cllr Paul Smyth, Chairman of Norfolk County Council's Communities Committee, said: "The evidence is clear - smoke inhalation can be deadly, so I would urge people to fit smoke detectors, to regularly test them and to help those who may not be able to fit or test their own alarms.
"Linking a test to the October clock-change is a helpful prompt, so please use this week-end to take action that could genuinely save lives."
Pledgers will be able to sign up on the Fire Kills Facebook page or click on special Fire Kills ‘Tick Tock Test’ adverts when they see them online and on their mobile phones.