THE THREE Welsh Fire and Rescue Services’ in Wales are telling residents to “Test it” at the Royal Welsh Winter Fair this week.
Staff from the three Services work hard to help make sure people know how to prevent fires from starting, and highlight that the best way of protecting yourself in the event of a fire in the home is to make sure you have a working smoke alarm.
The latest figures show that many residents in Wales still do not have a smoke alarm – in three out of ten dwelling fires that occur in Wales, there is no smoke alarm installed.
Stuart Millington from North Wales Fire and Rescue Service said: “The ‘Test it’ campaign is aimed at making sure people test their smoke alarms regularly to ensure they are in working order.
“Time and time again firefighters have seen first-hand how a smoke alarm could save you in the event of a fire.”
Mydrian Harries, Corporate Head of Prevention and Protection at the Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service added: “In our experience, people killed in house fires are often sleeping at the time. A smoke alarm will wake you up and give you vital extra time to escape and call for help.
“And what better time to remind people of the importance of having smoke alarms than just before Christmas, when the number of incidents we attend rises significantly. And don’t forget to look after your vulnerable friends and relatives by ensuring they have working alarms too.”
Matthew Jones, Head of Home Safety at South Wales Fire and Rescue Service commented, saying: “There really i no excuse for not having a smoke alarm – you can book a Home Safety Check from your local Fire and Rescue Service to get advice, which may include the fitting of a new alarm for free – just call us on 0800 069 1234.
“Keeping our communities safe from risk is our highest priority and ensuring that each home has a working smoke alarm which is tested on a regular basis. Making it part of a regular routine means that householders and their families are kept safe from the risk of fire.”
Follow these top tips to ensure your smoke alarm gives you the best chance of escape in the event of a fire:
- Test your alarm regularly – they recommend once a week. Follow #TestItTuesday.
- Never remove the battery unless replacing it with a new one.
- Do not take it down, put it in a drawer and forget about it – you would be surprised how many people do this.
- If it does not work or beeps when it really should not – then contact the fire service for a replacement.
- Make sure you practice an escape plan in the event that it does go off.
- Even a hardwire smoke alarm needs testing – they have a backup battery in case of a power cut.