This coming Sunday the clocks go back one hour and the Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service is asking all homeowners to remember to take just a few minutes to check smoke alarms while changing their clocks.
Latest national statistics shows over 90% of homes in the UK have a smoke alarm, however many may have flat or missing batteries or no longer work. Statistics also show that in one in every eight house fires attended by fire and rescue services, the smoke alarm failed to work.
Justin Harden, the Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service’s Community Risk Manager, said:
“A common misconception is that the fire itself is the main cause of deaths in a house fire. The real killer is smoke, and if you are asleep when a fire breaks out your chances of survival are very low if you don’t have a correctly installed working smoke detector in place to raise the alarm and an action plan to get out safely.
“It is therefore absolutely vital you regularly check your smoke alarms are working at least once a week.
“You cannot put a cost on someone’s life. A smoke alarm can cost as little as £5. It is a very, very small investment for something that could save yours and your family’s lives. Additionally, the number of fires that are detected in the early stages because working smoke alarms are installed correctly, along with taking appropriate actions, has the potential to significantly reduce the impact of a fire occurring, therefore lessening the subsequent loss of property.”
The Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service continue to offer local residents free home fire safety checks, prioritising those who are more vulnerable. These checks provide advice to residents on general fire safety awareness, smoke alarms and escape routes.
To apply for a free home fire safety check, log on to www.iwight.com/fire and complete the application form provided in the fire service section. The website also has home fire safety tips, and the service run a Facebook page with regular updates and advice, which can be found at www.facebook.com/iwfire.