Change the clocks and check your alarm, says fire service

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West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service is urging people to make a potentially life-saving move when they change their clocks this weekend by taking a moment to test their smoke alarm too.

Turning the clocks forward will already be on the ‘to-do’ list for the majority of households this weekend, but while you’re changing the clocks, test your smoke alarm battery and clean the alarm casing to ensure dust doesn’t block the sensor.

In West Yorkshire, a significant number of smoke alarms fail to operate, mostly because of missing or flat batteries.

But only half of all householders who own a smoke alarm say that they test it regularly. You are more than four times as likely to die in a fire if your smoke alarm is not working, so it’s clear that the simple act of testing your alarm is vital.

Ian Bitcon, Area Manager responsible for fire safety, said: “Keeping your smoke alarm in the same working order as your clock is so important. You soon notice when a clock stops ticking, but it’s more difficult to know that your smoke alarm is not working – that is unless you test it regularly. A working smoke alarm can buy you valuable seconds to get out, stay out and call 999.”

Find out more on the Fire Kills Facebook page

Help keep yourself and your loved ones safe in the home by following these simple steps:

• A working smoke alarm can buy you valuable time to get out, stay out and call 999. Make sure you fit one on every level of your home and test them regularly.

• Make testing your smoke alarm part of your household routine. Check the alarm by pressing the button regularly; change your battery once a year or invest in a 10-year alarm.

• Whatever happens, only remove the battery in your smoke alarm when replacing it with a new one.

• Make sure that everyone in your home knows what to do in a fire and practise your escape route.

British Summer Time (BST) starts on the last Sunday in March.