News release text
Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) is urging people to make a potentially life-saving move when they change their clocks next Sunday (31 March) to mark the start of British Summer Time – by taking a moment to test their smoke alarms too.
Firefighters will be lending their support to the national Fire Kills campaign, which will be running hard-hitting advertisements appealing to people to test their smoke alarms. Fire Kills has produced a new short film “On your Child’s life” highlighting the importance of keeping your family safe.
In the video a young boy explores the burnt-out shell of his former home, examines his old toys, and asks you to make a life-saving promise this Easter – to keep your loved ones safe from fire.
A working smoke alarm can buy you valuable time to get out, stay out and call 999. According to Fire Kills, you’re four times more likely to die in a fire if your smoke alarm is not working. In fact, 37 per cent of fire deaths happened in homes without smoke alarms.
While most people will remember to put their clocks forward, just half of all householders who own a smoke alarm say that they test that it’s working on a regular basis.
The Fire Kills campaign hopes that by adding this simple check to the clock-change routine, many more lives could be saved.
KFRS Head of Community safety, Stuart Skilton, said: “A working smoke alarm can provide vital early warning to a fire in your home, but sadly, all too often we attend fires in homes where smoke alarms are flat or have missing batteries.
“I would urge all households to take the time while changing your clocks to take an extra moment to push the button and make it a weekly routine – it could save your life.”
He added: “The bank holiday weekend is also a perfect opportunity to test alarms for older relatives and neighbours who might find it hard to reach their alarms but are at greater risk.”
Help keep yourself and your loved ones safe in the home by following these simple steps:
● Make sure you fit a smoke alarm on every level of your home.
● Make testing your smoke alarm part of your household routine. Test the alarm by pressing the button regularly; change your battery once a year or invest in a 10-year alarm; and clean the alarm casing twice a year to ensure dust isn't blocking the sensor.
● Whatever happens, never remove the battery in your smoke alarm.
● Make sure that everyone in your home knows what to do in a fire and practise your escape route.
● In the event of a fire get out, stay out and call 999.
● For more information visit the Fire Kills campaign’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/firekills.
● Ask the experts – for free fire safety advice contact Kent Fire and Rescue Service on 0800 923 7000 or visit www.3breaths.info.
Listen out for radio and press adverts supporting the ‘On your Child’s life’ campaign and take a few moments to watch and then share the Fire Kills video.
Notes to editors: British Summer Time (BST) begins on the last Sunday in March. This year the clocks go forward at 1.00 am BST on 31 March to 2.00 am GMT.