'Tick, Tock, Test' your smoke alarms for British Summer Time!

Mon 16 Mar, 2015

When you welcome British Summer Time by putting your clocks forward on Saturday 28 or Sunday 29 March, please check your smoke alarms at the same time.

That’s the message from firefighters, who are supporting the 'Tick, Tock, Test' initiative run by the national Fire Kills campaign, and urging people to start a regular routine

Neil Boustred, head of Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service’s community safety team, said: “Changing the clocks will already be on the ‘to-do’ list for the majority of households at the end of the month.

“Everyone soon notices when a clock stops ticking or when it’s showing the wrong time, but it’s not so easy to be sure that your smoke alarm is still working.

“In the event of a fire, a working smoke alarm can buy you valuable time to get out, stay out and call 999. Working smoke alarms can give people the wake-up call they need to escape – because smoke will not!

"Most people think that a fire will never break out in their homes, but, you’re at least four times more likely to die in a fire in your home if you do not have a working smoke alarm.  

“As you change your clocks, remember to push the button on your smoke alarm – and to make it part of a weekly or monthly routine.

“Please also offer to test for people – perhaps older friends or relatives – who might need help testing theirs."

Neil also offered this simple all-year-round checklist to help protect your home and family from the risk of fire:

  • Book a free safety check from Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service. These include free smoke alarms and free installation. Ring 01296 744477 or email cs@bucksfire.gov.uk.
  • If you are fitting your own smoke alarms, fit them on each level of your home. There is little time to escape if a fire starts, so an early warning is vital.
  • Plan your escape route – make sure you and your family know the quickest way out in the event of fire. Consider an alternative route in case your usual one is blocked. If a fire does break out in your home, get out, stay out and call 999.
  • Stay safe in the kitchen, as this is the area where most house fires start. Never leave cooking unattended, and don’t start cooking when you’re tired or have been drinking.
  • Keep internal doors shut as this will help slow down the speed at which a fire spreads.

In March 2014, nearly one in seven people tested their smoke alarms when they changed their clocks to British Summer Time. This year, the Fire Kills campaign is determined that even more people will keep their loved ones safer from fire by testing their smoke alarms. Everyone can join in and pledge to test on the Fire Kills page on Facebook, or via online and mobile phone advertisements.