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Home » News & Events » 2011 » October » Change Your Clock, Test Your Smoke Alarm

Change Your Clock, Test Your Smoke Alarm

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The twice-yearly clock change is a task that everybody takes for granted. Turning the clocks back for an extra hour in bed will already be on the 'to-do' list for the majority of households over the clock change weekend.

But while timekeeping is a vital part of our lives and we all keep our clocks working to stay on track, it's shocking to know that many people forget to ensure the safety of themselves and their loved ones by keeping their smoke alarm in the same working order.

A working smoke alarm can buy you valuable time to get out, stay out and call 999. But just half of all householders who own a smoke alarm say that they test it's working on a regular basis.

You're more than four times as likely to die in a fire if your smoke alarm is not working. So it's clear that the simple act of testing your alarm is a vital part of any household routine.

Darren Packwood of Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service said: "Everyone soon notices when a clock stops ticking, but it's not so easy to be sure that your smoke alarm is still in working order. Whether the battery is flat, has been used for a child's toy or, the connection is loose, everyone should take the time to test.

"You're more than four times as likely to die in a fire without a working smoke alarm, but only half of people who own an alarm say they take the time to check it regularly.

"We're all looking forward to getting that extra hour's sleep at the end of British Summer Time, but knowing that your smoke alarm is in working order could help you sleep that little bit better. As you put your clocks back on the 29th or 30th, take an extra moment to push the button – it could save your life.

"If you want an extra nudge to test your smoke alarm regularly, try setting an automatic reminder."

Safelincs, in partnership with the Fire Kills has created a free service that reminds you, by email or text, when it's time to test your smoke alarm, change the battery or renew the unit. The service is completely free and can be cancelled at any time.www.safelincs.co.uk/reminders

An online video has also been released showing a mantelpiece clock melting in the heat of a house fire – bringing home the harsh reality of the consequences of a fire in the home. See it at http://bit.ly/firekillsclock