FIRE chiefs are urging West Sussex residents to make a new year resolution which could be a life-saver – to test their smoke alarm each week.
They point out it can take as few as two or three breaths of toxic smoke to render someone unconscious and that people are more than twice as likely to die in a fire in their home if they don’t have a working smoke alarm.
Jackie Boyle, community fire safety officer for West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, explained why testing smoke alarms was so important: “A smoke alarm is the most effective way to alert you and your family to a fire but only if it is working. We’ve all made resolutions that are difficult to keep, but testing your smoke alarm is easy. Our message is simple really; don’t just hope it works, know it works.
“Please think about older family members or neighbours who may need a little help testing their smoke alarms. We offer free home fire safety checks where we visit homes by appointment to give safety advice and, where appropriate, fit smoke detectors or other specialist fire detection equipment. We give priority to those who are elderly or more vulnerable.”
Anyone who would like to request a home fire safety check for themselves or a family member of neighbour can call free on 0845 872 9719 or visit www.westsussex.gov.uk/fire