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Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service urges people to test smoke alarms every month

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: March 13, 2014

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Staffordshire residents are being reminded that now is the ‘time to test’ their smoke alarms.

The Service is calling for people to check that their smoke alarms are in good working order every month.

Residents who have older or vulnerable friends, family members or neighbours are also being urged to ‘push the button’ on their alarms too.

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.

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Nearly 70 per cent of people who died in house fires in England during 2012/2013 were not alerted by a smoke detector.

A common cause was that their alarm was not working because the batteries were flat or missing.

Community Safety Lead Stephanie Court said: “It is absolutely vital 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.

“Smoke detectors can give people all important extra minutes to evacuate a property should an emergency occur.

"This small amount of time could literally save your life.

"We would urge people to make a note to test their smoke alarms on the first day of each month.

"Once you get into the habit of doing it regularly, it is easy to remember.

“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 shocking and sad statistic.”

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

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