Essex County Fire and Rescue Service

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Check your smoke alarm

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service is urging people to test their smoke alarms when they put their clocks back on Sunday October 27.

In the last year 43% of the homes which had a fire in Essex did not have a working a smoke alarm. Between September 2012 and August 2013 crews attended 1,107 home fires 479 of which did not have a working smoke alarm.

Divisional Officer Neil Fenwick said: “If you don’t know your smoke alarm is working then you do not know if you and your family are protected.

“Smoke alarms are proven life savers, but only if they are working. Testing them only takes a few seconds but the peace of mind they provide is invaluable and will last all week.

“Ideally people should check their smoke alarm every week, but when you move the clocks back at the end of the month it serves as the perfect reminder to give your smoke alarms a quick check.”

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; and clean the alarm casing twice a year to ensure dust isn't blocking the sensor.

- Whatever happens, never remove the battery from your smoke alarm.

- Make sure that everyone in your home knows what to do in the event of a fire and practice your escape route.

To arrange for a free home fire safety visit contact Essex County Fire and Rescue Service on 0300 303 0088 or email webmaster@essex-fire.gov.uk.

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