Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service has launched its annual Push the Button Day campaign.
"Nearly a quarter of those who have suffered house fires have put the lives of themselves and their families at risk by not having working smoke alarms."
Head of Risk Reduction, Glynn Luznyj
The campaign builds up to a dedicated Push the Button Day on Friday 19 October where there will be a hive of activity across the county to encourage as many people as possible to check their smoke alarms work on a weekly basis.
The campaign, which is in its third year, is driven by the fact that although nine out of 10 homes have smoke alarms fitted, seven out of 10 people don’t test them.
Over the last three years, house fires where no smoke alarms were fitted have decreased by 73%. However, despite the rise in smoke alarm ownership nearly a quarter (23%) of accidental fires occurred in houses where smoke alarms didn’t activate because the batteries had gone flat or had been removed.
Head of Risk Reduction, Glynn Luznyj said: "A smoke alarm could save your life – but only if it works.
"Nearly a quarter of those who have suffered house fires have put the lives of themselves and their families at risk by not having working smoke alarms. Testing your smoke alarms takes less than a minute every week but could just save your life.
"We’d urge people to get into a routine of testing their smoke alarms, perhaps when they are doing their weekly clean, when they are taking their bins out or even after they’ve checked their lottery tickets! Firefighters across the county will be out and about on Push the Button Day pushing this message to local residents.
"If you don’t already have working smoke alarms, you can call us on 0800 0241 999 and we will come out to your property and fit you alarms, free of charge, as part of our Home Fire Risk Checks.
"Smoke alarms should be fitted on every level of the home near to an escape route, for example the hallway and landing and you should be able to hear the alarm from the bedrooms, as people are most at risk from fire when they are asleep."
The Service launched its Push the Button campaign in October 2010 along with the famous Push the Button video, featuring firefighters from across the county dancing along to the ‘Sugaflames’ Push the Button. The video can be viewed on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m0qOCBNwT-A