East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service is calling for people to help spread the word on smoke alarms.
For the next two weeks, the Service is using Twitter to promote safety messages as well as make sure that their own smoke alarms are up-to-date, in the right place and that they test them on the first of every month.
We hope that anyone following the Service on Twitter will re-tweet the messages and help reach more people and save lives.
A smoke alarm can give someone the few extra seconds they need to escape in a fire. While the majority of homes across the country now have an alarm fitted. Most people are not aware that the average alarm has a lifespan of just ten years and then needs replacing.
For people who live in a multi-storey home or a larger property a single smoke alarm is simply not enough. Last year, in nearly half of all fires in the home where the smoke alarm did not give a warning the reason was that the alarm was not close enough to detect the fire. Missing or flat batteries were another major cause.
Community Safety Manager Steve Wright said:
“On a number of occasions Fire Investigation Officers have reported that the alarms fitted by the Service raised the alarm, allowing the people to escape to safety.
“East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service is dedicated to reducing the risk of fire and fire related deaths and injuries across our Service area. To achieve this for many years now the Service has provided free Home Safety Visits, which offer valuable fire safety in the home advice and also where appropriate free smoke alarms to vulnerable members of the community.
“Working smoke alarms are an essential safety device and every household should have at least one alarm per floor of their home to give them the earliest possible warning of fire.”
In the past twelve months (1st Dec 2012 - 31st Dec 2013) East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service has installed 22,710 smoke alarms in East Sussex & Brighton and Hove.
Steve Wright added:
“At this time of year, many people will be thinking of what they can do – big or small – to make a fresh start and improve their lives, homes and well-being. A smoke alarm can offer vital protection for you and your loved ones, but most people simply fit and forget – they don’t know if it might be coming to the end of its lifespan or not working at all.
“For most of us, there is nothing more important than keeping our loved ones safe and secure. You may have already given up on your New Year's resolutions, but it's not too late to take on a new one. So if your alarm is getting past its best or your top floor is missing an alarm of its own, to fit new ones, test them on the first of every month and protect your loved ones in 2014.“
To keep your alarms in working order:
- Test your smoke alarm by pushing the button on the first of every month;
- Check the packaging for your smoke alarm to make sure it’s still up to date;
- Make sure there is at least one smoke alarm on every level of your home;
- Fit smoke alarms on landings and hallways and in rooms which have an electrical appliance, eg a heater, or other risk; and
- Take a moment to check on your loved ones who may need help to ensure they’re fully protected