Lives could be saved alongside changing the clocks this weekend – that’s the message from Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue as it joins a national campaign to combine two chores into one.
On October 28, the clocks will go back in every home across the country. The national Fire Kills campaign is urging people to test their smoke alarms as part of this routine.
It’s in a bid to reduce the number of people who are killed in accidental house fires in England each year – more than 200. Almost 40 per cent of these happened in homes where no smoke alarm was fitted.
Here in Lincolnshire, 20 per cent of accidental house fires in 2011 occurred in a property with no smoke alarm, resulting in 12 casualties. 30 per cent were in homes fitted with a smoke alarm that did not work, leaving four people injured.
Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue advises testing smoke alarms every week and looking after them by following the manufacturers’ instructions. This usually includes vacuuming off the dust at least every three months.
Debbie Robinson, deputy community fire safety manager from Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue, 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. What’s more, 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 fails to operate in a fire, usually because the battery was dead or intentionally removed.”
For more information on fire safety in the home, along with details of smoke alarms and how best to install them, visit Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue’s website at: www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/LFR
For a free home fire safety check, which – where appropriate – includes alarms being fitted, contact 01522 582222 and ask for the Community Fire Safety Department, or email HFSC@lincoln.fire-uk.org