Alarming figures show more than a third of the house fires Cleveland Fire Brigade attend are at homes without smoke alarms.
We are reminding residents of the urgent need to have them fitted as they can save lives.
From April to June this year there were 48 accidental house fires, of which 17 (35%) had no alarms.
The appeal comes at a time when a national campaign is calling for at least one working smoke alarm or “unsung hero” on every level. One is not enough. Last year they only alerted people to just under half of the fires in the home as they were out of range of the fire.
Phil Lancaster, Director of Community Protection at Cleveland Fire Brigade, said: “Working smoke alarms save lives but only if they are in the right place. One on every level is an absolute minimum.
“Without alarms you are four times more likely to die in a fire. Check you have them as a matter of urgency and then make sure they are working properly. Get into the habit of testing them every week.
“Like worn toothbrushes, thinning carpets and ageing boilers, older smoke alarms need replacing. If yours are ten years old their time is up.
“A working smoke alarm can buy you valuable time to get out, stay out and dial 999. They can save your life.”
From April to June 2017 there were 48 accidental house fires in Cleveland with 35% without smoke alarms. In Redcar and Cleveland there were 12 fires, six without alarms (50%); Middlesbrough, 12 fires, five without alarms (42%); Hartlepool, seven fires, two without alarms (29%); and Stockton, 17 fires, three without alarms(18%).
Making your home safer:
- Fit smoke alarms on every floor of your home
- Make testing the alarm part of your household routine in three simple steps:
- Test it by pressing the button once a week
- Change the batteries once a year if your alarm has removable batteries
- Clean the alarms casing every six months to ensure dust is not blocking the sensor
- Never remove the batteries unless they are being replaced
- Make sure everyone in your home knows what to do in a fire and knows the escape route.