A new year’s resolution: Protect loved ones from fire

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Residents are being encouraged to check their smoke alarms as the New

Year gets underway.

Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service is asking people to make one of their resolutions in 2013 to ensure their smoke alarms are up to date and in the right place to protect their home.

A smoke alarm can give someone the few extra seconds they need to escape in a fire. But while the majority of homes across the country now have an alarm fitted, most people are not aware the average alarm has a lifespan of just 10 years and then need replacing.

For those living in a multi-storey home or a larger property, a single smoke alarm may simply not be enough. Last year, nearly half of all household fires where the smoke alarm did not give a warning were because the alarm was not close enough to detect the fire.

So Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service is asking people to make sure their alarms are up to date and up to the job.

To keep alarms in working order:

i Test the smoke alarm by pushing the button regularly;

i Check the packaging for the smoke alarm to make sure it’s still up to

date;

i Make sure there is at least one smoke alarm on every level of your

home;

i Fit smoke alarms on landings and hallways and in rooms which have

an electrical appliance;

i Take a moment to check on less able loved ones to ensure they’re fully

protected

Andy Tucker, Risk Manager at Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue, said: “At this time of year, many will be thinking of what they can do - big or small - to make a fresh start and improve their lives, homes and wellbeing. A smoke alarm can offer vital protection for you and your loved ones, but most people simply fit and forget –they don’t know if it might be coming to the end of its lifespan.

“For most of us, there is nothing more important than keeping our loved ones safe and secure. So if your alarm is getting past its best or your top floor is missing an alarm of its own, make your New Year’s resolution to fit new ones, and protect your loved ones in 2013. “