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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Push the button when the clocks go back

22/10/2013

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service is urging people to ‘Push the Button’ on their smoke alarms when they change their clocks this weekend.

"Historically, accidental house fires have seen an increase during the winter months as people start to use open fires, heaters and electric blankets. If a fire breaks out, having a working smoke alarm can give people vital extra minutes to evacuate the property and could end up saving their lives.We would urge people to test their smoke detectors – and check the alarms in the homes of vulnerable and older people that they know - on a weekly basis in order to stay safe."  

Head of Risk Reduction Glynn Luznyj

The campaign, which has proved to be a major success since its launch in 2011, aims to encourage people to test their smoke detectors on a weekly basis.

Residents are also being asked to test the smoke alarms of older or vulnerable friends, relatives and neighbours to help keep them safe too.

Head of Risk Reduction Glynn Luznyj said: "Historically, accidental house fires have seen an increase during the winter months as people start to use open fires, heaters and electric blankets. If a fire breaks out, having a working smoke alarm can give people vital extra minutes to evacuate the property and could end up saving their lives.

"We would urge people to test their smoke detectors – and check the alarms in the homes of vulnerable and older people that they know - on a weekly basis in order to stay safe. To help residents remember to do this, we would suggest tying it in with another regular activity, such as the weekly shop or a favourite television programme. Alternatively, sign up to the Service’s weekly email reminders by visiting http://www.staffordshirefire.gov.uk/pushthebutton.asp."

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service offers free Home Fire Risk Checks where members of the team visit people in their homes, offering safety advice and fitting smoke alarms.

The freephone number to ring to request a check is 0800 0241 999 and a mutually convenient time will be set for the visit to take place.
 
All members of staff carry an identity card. Although checks to the elderly and vulnerable are prioritised, the service is open to everyone.

Tips on staying safe this winter:-

Unplug your electric blanket before you get into bed – unless it has a thermostat control for safe all-night use

Always position heaters so the back of the heater is against the wall and is facing the room
 
Keep portable heaters clear from curtains and furniture and never use them for drying clothes

Make sure candles are in a proper holder and away from materials that may catch fire such as curtains

Put candles out when you leave the room and ensure they are completely out when going to bed

Sweep the chimney before use if you haven’t used it for some time

Always keep a fire guard in front of an open fire