New year smoke alarm appeal from Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue

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LINCOLNSHIRE Fire and Rescue is urging people to make installing a smoke alarm one of their top new year resolutions.

Fire prevention experts say this important life-saving act should be at the front of everyone’s minds, along with the usual promises such as getting fitter, losing weight and dealing with Christmas debt.

The fire and rescue service was called out to 388 house fires over the past year. Smoke alarms were not fitted in around a third of them, putting the residents at a much greater risk.

Of those that did have an alarm, 18 per cent didn’t work because the batteries were faulty or had been removed.

More than 200 people are killed in accidental house fires every year in England, with almost 40 per cent happening in homes where no smoke alarm was fitted.

Sean Taylor, Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue’s group manager for prevention and protection, said: “You’re more than four times as likely to die in a fire if you haven’t got a working smoke alarm. They’re the easiest way to alert you to the danger of fire, giving you precious time to escape. And they’re cheap, easy to get hold of and easy to fit.

“Even if you already have one, it’s vital to regularly check that it still works – one in three fail to operate in a fire, usually because the battery was dead or intentionally removed.

“Not many new year resolutions could save your life but this is one of them. Fitting an alarm and testing it weekly is the easiest way to give yourself a fighting chance and live to see 2013.”

To discuss concerns or for a free home fire safety check, call 01522 582222 and ask for the Community Safety Department or email HFSC@lincoln.fire-uk.org For more fire safety advice, visit www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/LFR