Householders urged to test life-saving smoke alarms

Safety warning ... fire chief Dave Jefferson.
Safety warning ... fire chief Dave Jefferson.

Firefighters are urging South Tynesiders to push the button as part of a life-saving campaign.

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service is calling on householders to welcome the arrival of British summer time this weekend by testing their smoke alarms.

The call is part of the national Fire Kills campaign to encourage people to test the life-saving devices regularly.

The fire brigade’s group manager, Dave Jefferson, said: “Most people don’t realise that you’re at least four times more likely to die in a fire in your home if you do not have a working smoke alarm, so it’s crucial that you check they are working and that you don’t remove the batteries.”

Last year, Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service attended 142 fires at houses with smoke alarm that didn’t work. Two people lost their lives in those fires, and 34 were injured.

The year before, there were 53 fires in homes where a smoke alarm was fitted but did not activate.

A simple push of the test button only takes seconds, so fire officers are asking people to add it to their spring to-do list, as it could save their lives or those of others.

Firefighters will be in Asda’s South Shields store on Thursday to offer fire safety advice.

The clocks go forward one hour on Saturday night.

Twitter: @shieldsgazette