When you change your clocks back an hour this coming Sunday (October 27) don’t forget to test your smoke alarm at the same time.

The smoke alarm tests should be carried out weekly as part of regular maintenance checks to ensure they are in good working order all year round.

The nationwide “Tick, Tock, Test” message from Fire Kills, is a Government initiative to remind people to test their smoke alarm to help reduce deaths and injuries from fire.

Community Fire Safety Team Manager Rabinder Dhami said: “Everyone soon notices when a clock stops ticking but it’s harder to tell when a smoke alarm has stopped working.

“But by pushing the test button on every smoke alarm in your home, you could save the lives of your nearest and dearest, children, parents and friends alike.”

Last year in the UK, 197 people died in fires in the home with 70 per cent not alerted to the fire by a smoke alarm.

Without a working smoke alarm, you are more than four times as likely to die in a fire in the home with elderly people particularly at risk, said Rabinder, of Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service.

Even if you already have a smoke alarm, it’s essential to test them weekly to ensure they work.

“A smoke alarm which works can buy you and your family the valuable time you need to get out, stay out and call 999,” added Rabinder

For a free Home Fire Safety Check call 01743 260200. Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service has also issued a smoke alarm check list for county householders.

  • Install a smoke alarm on each floor of your home
  • Press the button and test your smoke alarms at least once a week
  • Change the battery at least once a year unless it is a 10 year alarm
  • Never remove batteries for use in anything else such as a remote control or child’s toy
  • Gently vacuum the inside using the soft brush attachment to remove dust from the sensors twice a year. If it doesn’t open, vacuum through the holes.
  • Over half of those who died in home fires last year were over the age of 65 so help older friends or relatives regularly test their smoke alarm too.
19th October, 2013