When do you do it? Smoke alarm challenge set out by Wales’ Fire and Rescue Services

 New campaign aims to give Wales’ communities a cheeky weekly reminder to test their smoke alarms

Across Wales last year* , there were over 1,600 accidental dwelling fires, with 69% of those having a working smoke alarm in place. The three Welsh Fire and Rescue Services are hoping to change this with their new campaign – ‘When Do you Do It?’ – to ensure that homes across Wales are kept safe from the risk of fire.

However, with a quarter (24%) of accidental dwelling fires, in the same period, the three Welsh FRSs saw fires escalating in homes due to a smoke alarm failing. Therefore, Wales’ Fire and Rescue Services believe that it is more important than ever to place testing your smoke alarm on your weekly routine.

Wales’ Fire and Rescue Services have the following top tips as small pointers to keep you safe in your home:

  • A working smoke alarm can mean the difference between life or death, so when do you do it? Remember that it should be once a week
  • If it is making a noise to indicate the battery is no longer operating or that it may need changing, your local Fire and Rescue Service can advise you
  • In the event of a fire in your home, a smoke alarm gives you and your family time to get out of your home quickly and safely
  • Think about your escape routes and which one to take should a fire happen in your home
  • If a fire does happen, get out, stay out and call 999. Don’t be tempted to go back in and retrieve pets or personal items

Matt Jones, Head of Home Safety in South Wales Fire and Rescue Service said of the campaign, “Just having a smoke alarm on your ceiling does not mean that your home is safe from a fire, only when tested on a regular basis and maintained, will you be truly safe. When you do it, whether after the gym or before school, doesn’t matter – we just recommend that you do it at least once a week.

“As a Fire and Rescue Service, alongside our colleagues in Mid and West Wales and North Wales, we continue to raise awareness of how our communities can keep themselves safe in their homes and this campaign is an example of this commitment.”

Mydrian Harries, Corporate Head of Prevention and Protection at Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service commented, “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.

“What people often forget is that testing a smoke alarm is just as important as having one. Only a working smoke alarm can save lives so, we urge people across Wales to follow our advice and ensure theirs is tested. 

"For those that do not have a smoke alarm or are concerned theirs is faulty, there really is no excuse – 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.”

Stuart Millington, Senior Fire Safety Manager for North Wales Fire and Rescue Service, added, “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. We would encourage people to share our video to get the message out to as many people as we can across Wales.”

The three Welsh FRSs have released a new campaign video which asks its communities to think about when they do it – as in when do they test their smoke alarms – and the Services will be sharing this message across Wales over the coming months to reduce the number of accidental dwelling fires in their areas.

For more information about home safety in your home, visit your local Fire and Rescue Service’s website. 

*Period stated 2015/16

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Team @ AberdareOnline

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