Wake up and get a smoke alarm

Deputy Chief Fire Officer Paul Raymond urges the people of Shropshire to get a smoke alarm for their homes

A hard hitting fire safety message about the importance of smoke alarms in the home is being delivered to Shropshire shoppers emblazoned across a huge billboard at a busy retail park.

Every minute scores of drivers see the eye-catching poster with an image of a charred and blackened doll and the words: "Is Your Child Worth £3? Wake Up! Get A Smoke Alarm."

The 20ft by 12ft message at The Wrekin Retail Park near Tescos supermarket is part of an on going safety campaign launched by Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service.

"It is a stark message but people don't see the horror of deaths in house fires or the terrible damage done to the homes of householders who do not fit smoke alarms," said Deputy Chief Fire Officer Paul Raymond.

"The people of Shropshire do need to wake up to the fact that for just a few pounds they can protect their families by buying and fixing smoke alarms inside their homes."

The fitting of smoke alarms should be equal to car safety where seat belts, child safety seats and airbags are used in cars "as a matter of course," he said.

As part of the fire safety campaign the fire service is also carrying out home safety checks to spot potential fire hazards and install smoke alarms free of charge.

Thousands of homes across the county have already been visited and the campaign continues. A designated phone line has been set up on 01743 260 298 for any members of the public to request a home safety visit.

Fire injuries in the county are one of the lowest in the UK, due in part to increased fire alarm ownership, but Shropshire has suffered a "worrying increase" in the number of deaths in house fires without smoke alarm protection this year, added Mr Raymond.

27th June, 2006