Don’t take a chance on your smoke alarm

PUBLISHED: 13:17 31 August 2006 | UPDATED: 14:49 12 May 2010

Firefighters Pete Chapman and Steve Merry

Firefighters Pete Chapman and Steve Merry

FIREFIGHTERS are urging residents not to push their luck when it comes to smoke alarms. Starting a national campaign, Push the Button – Not Your Luck, firefighters gathered at the Royston Fire Station to promote regular alarm checks and raise awareness fo

FIREFIGHTERS are urging residents not to push their luck when it comes to smoke alarms.

Starting a national campaign, Push the Button - Not Your Luck, firefighters gathered at the Royston Fire Station to promote regular alarm checks and raise awareness for homeowners.

A Herts County Council spokeswoman said: "Recent research has indicated that every day someone dies in a fire because they do not have a working smoke alarm.

"Some 80 per cent of the population own smoke alarms, but statistics show that in one-in-eight house fires, the smoke alarm failed to work, largely due to flat or missing batteries."

Over the past year Royston firefighters have been called to eight accidental property fires in Royston and believe the need for regular alarm checks is important.

They will also be offering their services to residents in a sweeping programme of home visits.

Station commander Steve Flowers said: "I cannot stress enough that it only takes seconds to push the button to check your smoke alarm. Forgetting to do this can put your family at risk.

"Smoke alarms provide vital early warning signs for when a fire breaks out, which is often during the night.

"The firefighters at the station will visit residents in their homes and carry out fire safety checks."

More than 30 residents have already received home safety checks, a figure expected to increase over the coming weeks.

During the visits firefighters will ensure homes have working smoke alarms and, if needed, will fit ones free of charge. They will also discuss fire safety and what to do in an emergency.

Cllr Keith Emsall, executive member for community safety, said: "The campaign supports the work Herts Fire and Rescue Service has been doing to help reduce fires in the home.

"Smoke alarms are a life-saver and I would encourage every resident in the area to follow the station commander's vital advice and book a home safety check."

If you would like a home safety check call 0800 587 3347.

- All home fire safety checks are booked at a convenient time and will be carried out by uniformed firefighters, who will carry identification and use an agreed password.

For further details on smoke alarm maintenance and a fire safety visit, log on to the website at www.hertsdirect.org/fire or www.firekills. gov.uk

- Fit smoke alarms on every level of your home.

- Check the battery once a week.

- Replace the battery every 12 months.

- Battery smoke alarm units should be replaced every 10 years.

- Consider installing ten-year battery smoke alarms or mains-powered alarms.

- Do not put smoke alarms in the kitchen or bathroom.

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