Take the time to check your smoke alarm

Local firefighters are supporting the national Fire Kills smoke alarm testing campaign by encouraging Oxfordshire's public to coincide adjusting timings on clocks with testing their smoke alarms.

Test it Tuesday

They are also alerting people to the service's 365alive campaign, which includes its 'Test it Tuesday' initiative, a drive aimed at getting residents to check their smoke alarms are working on a weekly basis.

People can also complete a Home Fire Risk Check via the 365alive website to discover their current level of risk and how families can improve fire safety in the home.

Take the time

Stuart Garner, Oxfordshire County Council's Fire and Rescue Service's Home and Community Safety Manager, said: "Everyone soon notices when a clock stops ticking, but it's not so easy to be sure that your smoke alarm is still in working order.

"Whether the battery is flat, has been used for a child's toy or the connection is loose, everyone should take the time to test them.

"You are more than four times as likely to die in a fire without a working smoke alarm. By pushing the 'test' button on every smoke alarm, you could save your family's lives. Make it a regular thing and get into the 'Test it Tuesday' routine and check your smoke alarm once a week.

"It's also the perfect opportunity to test the smoke alarm of older relatives, friends or neighbours who might find it hard to reach their alarms."

Help yourself

Councillor Louise Chapman, Oxfordshire County Council's Cabinet Member for Policy Co-ordination, said: "Taking the time to check a smoke alarm on a regular basis really can save your life. Oxfordshire's Fire and Rescue Service does a huge amount of preventative work with the public to educate them about what people can do to help avoid the potentially devastating consequences of fire.

"I would encourage people to visit our 365alive website to discover more about what simple steps can be taken to make people safer."

Working smoke alarms save lives - 197 people died in house fires across the country in 2012: more than 70 per cent were not alerted to the blaze by a fire alarm.

A paper copy of the Home Fire Risk Check can be obtained by ringing the free phone Community Safety Helpline on 08000 325999. Those who have completed the check and are concerned about its results can also obtain advice from the helpline.

People gain an hour when British Summer Time ends on Sunday 27 October at 2am.