If you haven’t made a New Year resolution yet, here’s a simple one that could be a life saver – testing your smoke alarm each week.
Many people see the New Year as a fresh start, an opportunity to make positive changes, so firefighters in West Sussex are recommending putting a weekly smoke alarm test on your ‘to do’ list.
It can take as little as just two or three breaths of toxic smoke to render someone unconscious and you are more than twice as likely to die in a fire in your home if you don’t have a working smoke alarm.
Jackie Boyle, Community Fire Safety Officer for West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service, explained why testing smoke alarms is so important:
“A smoke alarm is the most effective way to alert you and your family to a fire but only if it is working. We’ve all made resolutions that are difficult to keep, but testing your smoke alarm is easy. Our message is simple really; don’t just hope it works, know it works.
“Please think about older family members or neighbours who may need a little help testing their smoke alarms. We offer free Home Fire Safety Checks where we visit homes by appointment to give safety advice and, where appropriate, fit smoke detectors or other specialist fire detection equipment. We give priority to those who are elderly or more vulnerable.”
Would you or someone you know benefit from a Home Fire Safety Check? West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service particularly wants to hear from those who:
. Are 65 or over and living alone
. Have a physical disability or frailty affecting their ability to either summon help or escape in an emergency
. Use a Community Alarm or Emergency Monitoring service like Careline or Lifeline
. Have a sensory impairment or difficulty hearing a standard smoke alarm
. Have a cognitive impairment affecting their ability to remember things or retain information, such as dementia
To request a Home Fire Safety Check call free on 0845 872 9719 or visit: www.westsussex.gov.uk/fire