Homeowners are more than twice as likely to die in a house fire if they do not have a working smoke alarm, warn West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service.
This year, the service is encouraging people to test their fire alarms on a weekly basis in a bid to save lives.
Jackie Boyle, community fire safety officer, said: “Your smoke alarm can only give you that vital early warning if it is working, so why not make a new year’s resolution to test it weekly.
“Testing your smoke alarm is really very easy and could save your life.”
Statistics show that two or three breaths of toxic smoke can be enough to render a person unconscious.
West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service provide home fire safety checks to give advice to homeowners and, if required, fit smoke detectors and other fire detection equipment.
Priority for the checks is given to those who are over 65 and living alone, immobile or disabled, or using a Community Alarm or Emergency Monitoring service such as Careline.
To request a home fire safety check call 0800 328 6487 or go to www.westsussex.gov/fire