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Test your alarms as you change your clocks

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This message is part of the national Fire Kills campaign, and is supported by a new video highlighting the importance of keeping your family fire-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.

Fifteen children died in accidental fires across the country last year, and in Herefordshire and Worcestershire, a total of 40 injuries and twodeaths were caused by dwelling fires.

Station Commander Alan Haley from HWFRS said that the new heart-wrenching video reminds everyone exactly what is at stake in a house fire, and asked local residents to test their smoke alarms when they change their clocks over the Easter weekend.

A working smoke alarm won’t stop a fire but will buy you and your family the valuable time you need to get out, stay out and call 999. You are more than four times as likely to die in a fire if you don’t have a working alarm.

HWFRS is determined to prevent as many deaths as possible and make sure people test their alarms when the clocks change on Sunday 31 March.

Many people will already have a list of household tasks and DIY plans for the long weekend, so it’s the perfect opportunity to add this simple test on to the list. Easter is also a family time and an ideal opportunity to test alarms for older relatives who might find it hard to reach their alarms themselves, but are at greater risk – over half the people who died in home fires last year were over 65 years old.

By pushing the ‘test’ button on every smoke alarm, people could save the lives of their nearest and dearest – children, parents and friends alike.

SC Haley added:“A working smoke alarm is a proven life-saver and is absolutely essential to keep you and your family safe. Worryingly, though, only half of all householders who own a smoke alarm say that they test it is working on a regular basis.

“Last year there were 30,709 accidental fires in the home across the country, and fifteen children’s lives were lost. Don’t take the chance on your family’s life. Promise to test your alarms this clock change weekend, and let’s make testing smoke alarms a weekly household habit.”