29 August 2006
This week marks the launch of a hard-hitting campaign highlighting the dangers of not having working smoke alarms in your home.
Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service has given its full support to it - and would like residents to take advantage of a free offer which will significantly improve their safety in the event of a fire.
The government's national "Fire Kills" campaign moved into a new phase on Monday with the start of an advertising campaign reminding people to "push the button, not your luck".
The slogan refers to the simple test people should carry out to check that the battery in a smoke alarm is still working.
The advertisements include the chilling warning that you are twice as likely to die in a fire if you don't have a working smoke alarm. This is based on government fire statistics for 2004.
Terry Ridgley, head of Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service's Community Safety team, said: "Nationally, 80 per cent of the population own smoke alarms, but statistics show that in one in every eight house fires attended by fire and rescue services, the smoke alarm failed to work, largely due to flat or missing batteries.
"The advertising campaign encourages people to test their smoke alarm batteries each week by stressing the potentially fatal consequences of forgetting. It takes seconds to push the button, so make sure you build it into your weekly chores, such as vacuuming.
"When fires break out, which is often during the night, smoke alarms provide a vital early warning sign - indeed, they are often your ONLY warning. Don't put yourself or your family at risk for the sake of a battery."
If you live in Buckinghamshire or Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service will carry out a free safety check on your home and fit free smoke alarms with 10-year batteries.
Just ring 01296 744477 or email email@example.com for an appointment.
For more information about these safety checks, click HERE.