‘Test your smoke alarm every week’

TEST your smoke alarm at least once a week - that’s the message going out this week for West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service.

They say that a smoke alarm is the most effective way to alert you and your family to a fire and can buy you that valuable time to leave your property safely and call the fire service.

Said a spokesperson: “It is easy to be complacent and imagine a fire won’t happen to you but statistics prove otherwise.

“The reality is that it can take as little as only two or three breaths of toxic smoke to render someone unconcious 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.”

In March last year two people sadly lost their lives in separate house fires in West Sussex where the batteries in their smoke alarms had been removed.

Adrian Carter, deputy safer communities manager for West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service, said: “Your smoke alarm can only give you that vital early warning if it is working, so why not make it a New Year’s resolution to test it weekly?

“ All too often we make resolutions that we find very hard to keep but testing your smoke alarms is really very easy and could save your life, so put it to the top of your list.

“We currently has a smoke alarm campaign called ‘Test It Tuesday’ so I tend to test mine on a Tuesday each week. I find having a set day and time that I do it, makes it easier to remember.

“Please don’t forget about those members of your family or neighbours who may need a little help testing their smoke alarms.

“West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service offers free Home Fire Safety Checks where firefighters 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.”

l Would you or someone you know benefit from a Home Fire Safety Check? West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service particularly want to hear from those who are: Over 65; A lone parent; Disabled or with an impairment;

Single adult living alone; Immobile or without assistance.

To request a Home Fire Safety Check call free on 0800 328 6487 or visit www.westsussex.gov.uk/fire