Breaking habits to save a life

THIS is a time of year for embarking on new resolutions and breaking bad habits.

Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service would like you to use the New Year as an opportunity to get into a habit which could end up saving your life.

Check your smoke alarm once a week. Check your smoke alarm is working once a week by pressing the button. Every year firefighters in Cambridgeshire are called to many fires in homes where smoke alarms are fitted, but not working properly. Don’t let your house add to the 2012 statistics.

Getting into the habit of checking your smoke alarm may just save your life, and CFRS have some more suggestions which will keep you and your family safe in 2012.

Drive responsibly and safely. More people are killed in Cambridgeshire as a result of road traffic collisions than as a result of fires. Get into the following good habits when driving:

Reduce your speed

Leave a greater distance between you and the car in front

Always wear a seatbelt

Never drink and drive.

Stay safe in the kitchen. This is where most house fires start, but they can be avoided by being careful in the kitchen. It only takes a minute to check electrical appliances are switched off. Never leave cooking unattended.

Plan your escape route. Everyone should know what to do in a fire, whether they are at home, at school or at work. If a fire occurs at night your escape will be hindered by dark or difficult conditions. If you have already planned an escape route and everyone knows what to do, escaping safely will be much easier.

Get into a fire safe bedtime routine. If you get into the habit of making these simple checks every night before you go to bed, you will help reduce the chance of a fire breaking out in your house. Always check:

Open fires are guarded and extinguished before bedtime

Your chimney is swept at least once a year and the brickwork is inspected

Smoking materials are fully extinguished

Electrical equipment is turned off and unplugged

All candles are out

All internal doors are closed.

Chief Fire Officer Graham Stagg said: “Instead of trying to give up the usual bad habits this year, why not try getting into some potentially life saving habits. It doesn’t take long and would be the best possible way to start 2012.”