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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Service urges people to do the 'Tick Tock Test'

21/10/2014

Push the Button

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service is urging people to do the ‘Tick Tock Test’ when the clocks go back 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. I would urge people to check their smoke alarms regularly, perhaps doing it after a weekly exercise class, food shop or after watching a favourite television programme. If you learn to associate it with a particular activity, you will be much more likely to remember to do it." 

Head of Risk Reduction Glynn Luznyj

It is supporting the national campaign run by Fire Kills to remind people to test their smoke detectors on Sunday, October 26.

The Service is also encouraging residents to check that the potentially life-saving equipment is working in the homes of older or vulnerable friends, relatives and neighbours. Sadly, more than half the people who died in fires in the home last year were 65-years-old or over.

Shocking statistics reveal that the majority of domestic fires with fatalities in 2013 either did not have smoke alarms fitted or they did not activate – a common cause was missing or flat batteries.

More than half of the 213 fire deaths in people’s homes were caused by smoke inhalation. Working smoke alarms can give people the wake-up call they need to escape and can mean the difference between life and death.

Head of Risk Reduction Glynn Luznyj said: “I cannot stress strongly enough how important it is to have working smoke alarms fitted in your home. We have had a number of incidents in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent where smoke detectors have given people vital extra minutes to evacuate the property, literally saving their lives.

“Historically, accidental house fires have seen an increase during the winter months as people start to use open fires, heaters and electric blankets. I would urge people to check their smoke alarms regularly, perhaps doing it after a weekly exercise class, food shop or after watching a favourite television programme. If you learn to associate it with a particular activity, you will be much more likely to remember to do it.

“It is also important to think of people that you know who might not be able to test their own smoke detectors, perhaps a vulnerable or older friend, relative or neighbour. It only takes a matter of seconds to do it but the consequences can be long-lasting.”

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.

Alternatively, sign up to the Service’s weekly email reminders by visiting http://www.staffordshirefire.gov.uk/pushthebutton.asp