Northumberland residents are being encouraged to test their smoke alarms when the clocks go forward this weekend.
While the extra hour of light will be welcomed by many, Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service (NFRS) hopes people will take a few minutes to test their alarms and ensure they’re in good working order ahead of the summer months.
The reminder forms part of the national Fire Kills campaign ‘Tick, Tock, Test’ which links putting the clocks forward to checking smoke alarms.
A total of 211 people died in fires in their home across the UK last year. And with over 70% not being alerted to the fire by a smoke alarm, it’s vital people test their smoke alarms regularly.
As part of the campaign, NFRS is determined to prevent as many deaths as possible and make sure people test their alarms when the clocks “spring forward” on March 30th.
NFRS Assistant Chief Fire Officer Steve Richards said: “Tick, Tock, Test is easy to remember and links clock change weekend to testing your smoke alarm.
“People soon notice when a clock stops ticking, but it’s not easy to be sure your smoke alarm is still in working order. Whether the battery is flat or has a loose connection, everyone should take a couple of minutes to check and test their alarm.
“And as over half the people who died in home fires last year were over 65, this is a perfect opportunity to test alarms for older relatives or neighbours.
“By simply pushing the ‘test’ button on every smoke alarm you could be helping save the lives of your nearest and dearest.”
Councillor Dave Ledger, Deputy Leader of Northumberland County Council and Portfolio Holder for NFRS, said: “This is simple, straightforward advice and it will take householders just a few minutes to check their alarms.
“The effects of even a small fire can be devastating but statistics show you’re four times more likely to survive a fire if you have a working smoke alarm.”