SHOPPERS at a South Tyneside supermarket were given a reminder to test their smoke alarms as part of a safety drive by firefighters.
Asda in South Shields played host to Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service’s ‘Tick, Tock, Test’ campaign.
Firefighters were on hand to encourage shoppers to ensure they have a working smoke alarm and offer advice on how to reduce the risk of fire in the home.
According to the fire brigade, people are four times more likely to die in a fire in the home where there is no working smoke alarm.
Nicole Mordecai, crew manager, prevention and education for the South Tyneside District, said: “People think smoke will wake them up, but it won’t. Just two or three breaths can knock you unconscious.
“Having a working smoke alarm can give people vital minutes to escape if a fire is to break out 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.
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.
Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service offers free home fire safety checks.
This includes checking people have working smoke alarms, that they are in the right place, ensuring householders have a fire escape plan and are aware of the importance of having a safe night time routine.
For information on how to stay safe from fire or how to request a Home Safety Check, visit www.twfire.gov.uk or call 0800 0327777.