Residents urged to check smoke alarms

PUBLISHED: 09:13 15 January 2008 | UPDATED: 21:46 26 October 2009

Pull your finger out

Pull your finger out

FIREFIGHTERS are urging residents to Pull Your Finger Out and check smoke alarms. The stark message from the county s fire service comes as part of a new Government campaign launched today (Tuesday). According to a new survey, 94 per cent of households

FIREFIGHTERS are urging residents to "Pull Your Finger Out" and check smoke alarms.

The stark message from the county's fire service comes as part of a new Government campaign launched today (Tuesday).

According to a new survey, 94 per cent of households polled in the eastern region have a smoke alarm - but 83 per cent of those do not test them often enough.

Latest statistics show that on average, there are 758 accidental house fires in Hertfordshire each year, injuring 129 people.

If you don't own a working smoke alarm you are twice as likely to die in a fire - which is why Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service is backing the campaign.

Divisional officer Paul Bord oni, head of community fire safety, said: "Despite the fact a high number of people in Hertfordshire own a smoke alarm, a disturbing number do not maintain their alarms on a weekly basis.

"The message is simple - smoke alarms save lives, but only if they work!

"We're urging everyone to pull their fingers out and test their smoke alarms - this simple action could save the lives of their loved ones."

Apathy seems to be the main reason that people from the eastern region do not test their smoke alarms, with 64 per cent attributing forgetfulness, being too busy or just simply "'can't be bothered" to do an action that only takes a few seconds, but could potentially save their lives.

County councillor Richard Smith, executive member for community safety, said: "A fire in your home can be devastating, but the effects can be greatly minimised if you have a working smoke alarm fitted, and test it regularly.

"It will take just a couple of seconds to test your alarm, which in turn could give you vital minutes to get out of your property if a fire breaks out."

A new wave of TV advertising is accompanying the campaign.

Fronted by Julie Walters, the advert highlights the devastating and potentially fatal consequences of not testing your alarm often enough.

Running until March, the advert shows the aftermath of a fire in the home with a burnt out kitchen providing the backdrop to the scene.

* For more information on the campaign visit www.firekills.gov.uk or www.hertsdirect.org

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