Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service is reminding residents that smoke alarms should only ever be bought from official sources or fitted free of charge from firefighters during a Home Fire Safety Check. Fire alarms are not a luxury but an essential purchase, one which could literally save your life.
“We launched our Push the Button campaign in October 2010 urging people to test their smoke alarms on a weekly basis, as if they don’t work they are useless"
Prevention Manager, Carmel Warren
Smoke detectors can give people all important extra minutes to evacuate a property should a fire occur. A defective smoke alarm bought from an unofficial source may not work properly in a real-life emergency situation when an early warning is vital and the best chance of escape.
Research shows that people are four times more likely to die in a fire at home if they don’t have any working smoke alarms. It is crucial that all homes are fitted with working smoke alarms and never more so than in the colder months when open fires, heaters and electric blankets are more frequently in use.
Prevention Manager, Carmel Warren said: “We launched our Push the Button campaign in October 2010 urging people to test their smoke alarms on a weekly basis, as if they don’t work they are useless.
“We would also encourage people to test smoke alarms in the homes of older friends, family members or neighbours if they are unable to do so themselves. Research from the Fire Kills Practitioners’ Group has found that people aged 65 and above account for more than half of all deaths in accidental house fires. By taking a few minutes to assist an older person we can all help to change this.”
People can book a free Home Fire Risk Check where crew members or trained technicians visit every room in a property and look for potential fire hazards. They also speak to residents about their everyday behaviour in the home and, using this information, try to identify anything that may increase the risk of a fire.
People are being encouraged to book a HFRC by calling Freephone 0800 0241 999, texting 07528 983101 or visiting www.staffordshirefire.gov.uk/bookyourhfrc.asp