Smoke, the silent killer, is responsible for over half of all deaths in accidental fires in the home. Last year, over half the 213 UK 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 won’t, it will leave you for dead. Shockingly, in the majority of domestic fires with fatalities, there was either no smoke alarm or it did not go off – and the common cause was missing or flat batteries.
That is why the Fire Kills campaign, run in partnership with Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service (HFRS), is asking people to pledge to test their smoke alarms this clock change weekend (25-26 October). A simple push of the test button will check both the power supply and the detection mechanism.
Station Manager Glenn Bowyer said: “Smoke alarms are well-proven life savers, as we saw earlier this week in Gosport, when we rescued a mother and two children from a serious fire in their home. But only working smoke alarms save lives. 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 this weekend could be a truly life-saving decision.”
“Over half the people who died in fires in the home last year were aged 65 or over, which is why we are currently running a three month campaign in Hampshire aimed at making older people safer. The clock change weekend can act as a great reminder to check your smoke alarms, but please also remember to test them for older friends and relatives who may be less able to check their own.”
In March 2014, nearly one in seven people tested their smoke alarms when they changed their clocks to British Summer Time. This autumn, HFRS is keen to make sure that even more people take part. Everyone can join in and pledge to Tick Tock Test.
Pledgers can sign up on the Fire Kills Facebook page or click on special online Fire Kills ‘Tick Tock Test’ adverts.