WEARSIDERS are being urged to carry out a potentially lifesaving test of their smoke alarms.
With the clocks going back this weekend people are being reminded they cannot turn back time once a fire starts in their home.
But householders can put in place measures to ensure they are alerted if a blaze tears through their house by making sure their fire alarm is in working order.
Across Sunderland there were 161 fires in people’s homes, with 43 people being injured.
Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service’s latest campaign, Fire Kills, hopes that by reminding people to add this check to their clock-change routine, these figures will be reduced even further.
John Baines, area manager for community safety, said: “Everyone notices when a clock or a watch stops working 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 kid’s toy or the connection is loose, everyone should take the time to test it.
“You’re more than four times as likely to die in a fire without a working smoke alarm but only half of people who own an alarm say they take the time to check it regularly.
“We’ll all get that extra hour sleep at the end of British Summer Time, but knowing that you have a working smoke alarm could help you sleep that little bit better and more importantly ensure that you wake up if a fire occurs.
“As you put your clocks back on the 29th or 30th, take an extra moment to push the button and test your smoke alarm – it could save your life.”
For more information, visit the Fire Kills campaign’s Facebook page.
To set an automatic reminder to test your smoke alarm, visit www.safelincs.co.uk/reminders.
The free service will remind you by text or email when it is time to check your alarm, change the battery or renew the unit.