Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Tick, Tock, Test – time to check your smoke alarm



East Sussex Fire and Rescue is backing the national Fire Kills – Tick, Tock, Test campaign and urging all householders to test their smoke alarm when they change the clocks this weekend.

Having a working smoke alarm can buy you and your family valuable time when there is a fire and increase the chances of you getting out alive. You’re four times more likely to survive a fire if you have a working smoke alarm.

Chief Fire Officer and Chief Executive Des Prichard said: “You need to test your smoke alarms regularly – and with busy lives it can be easy to forget to do this. Although we recommend a weekly smoke alarm check, remembering to do it every six months as you change the clocks is a positive first step that could save you, your family and friends.

“We are also urging members of the public to check on older and vulnerable family, friends and neighbours who may find it difficult to test their smoke alarm safely. It only takes a minute to pop round, reach up and press the button for them.”

Our firefighters regularly deal with incidents that clearly demonstrate why smoke alarms are important. Here are some recent examples:

  • A teenage boy owes his life to a working smoke alarm after escaping a serious bedroom fire at a house in Lewes. He awoke to the sound of the alarm and managed to escape before the fire took hold.
  • A man in his 30s escaped safely from his home in Brighton after a box he had placed on the top of his cooker caught fire. The man, who inadvertently knocked the dials on the hob, heard the alarm, returned to find kitchen ablaze and got out safely.
  • Fire investigators believe that the death of an elderly man who liked to smoke outside his home in Peacehaven could have been prevented by a working smoke alarm. The battery from the alarm situated just inside the house had been removed because, they believe, tobacco smoke often drifted inside.
  • A family in the Uckfield area escaped unharmed after their faulty dishwasher caught fire as they slept. The fire in the kitchen filled the house with toxic black smoke. Thankfully a well-sited smoke alarm alerted the family and enabled them to escape safely.

East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service offers free smoke alarms and fire safety visits to eligible households across East Sussex and Brighton and Hove. Our Community Safety Team has distributed and installed more than 105,000 domestic smoke alarms since 2004.

You can register for a Home Safety Visiton our website or call the team on 0800 1777 069.

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