Make fire safety your new year’s resolution

Cleveland Fire Brigade urges you to make and not break a New Year’s Resolution to check your smoke alarms every week.

At this time of year popular resolutions include giving up smoking, losing weight and getting into shape, but one that could save you and your family’s life is to ensure you have working smoke alarms in your home.

Latest figures show nationally there were an estimated 33,000 accidental house fires which resulted in 210 fatalities and 5,700 injuries in 2009/10.

But being prepared and following some simple steps will make you safer in your home.

  • Call Cleveland Fire Brigade on 01429 874063 for your Home Fire Safety Visit and we will come round at your convenience and offer home safety advice and fit smoke alarms if required. Once fitted smoke alarms need to be checked weekly.
  • Decide in advance your emergency escape plan, which must include the young, old, and any infirm members of your household. Practice using the escape routes, especially in the dark. Have an assembly point outside where everyone in the household knows to meet in the event of a fire.
  • Before going to bed, close all doors and turn off electrical appliances; don’t leave any in ‘Standby’ mode.
  • Make sure your keys are readily available to unlock external doors, but not visible from outside.
  • Make sure any alternative ways out you have identified, are also able to be opened in an emergency. Don’t block doorways or hallways.
  • In the event of a fire, get everyone out, then telephone the Fire Brigade from outside, closing doors as you leave.

Les Jones, Head of Community Safety, said: “It only takes minutes to check your smoke alarm is working which could save your life. Why not do it on a set day of the week or as part of your cleaning routine?

“Cleveland Fire Brigade offers free Home Fire Safety Visits which include the free fitting of smoke alarms where needed and helpful safety advice. Please call us to arrange one at your convenience as prevention is better than cure.”