COLUMN: Smoke alarms give you vital seconds by DFRS

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Well it seems autumn is certainly here.

Everywhere you look the leaves are turning into an array of colours from copper to bronze, indicating a change in the season and a warning of the winter nights that will soon be upon us.

For me, the real indicator of winter approaching is the changing of the clocks.

On October 25, we lose an hour and put our clocks back. For many, the ritual of changing the clocks can also indicate an opportunity to check smoke alarms are working too.

While clock change is a great opportunity to serve as a reminder, I would advocate you tested your smoke alarms every week, something I hope you already do and please try to get the rest of the household involved, children and others living in the property need to know what to do in the event of an emergency. It’s a lot easier to do this over a cup of tea than at three o’clock in the morning!

A working smoke alarm will give you and your household valuable early warning of a fire, giving you vital seconds to escape a fire; but smoke alarms can’t perform this important function if they aren’t working. If you don’t test them, how will you know if they are working or not – don’t leave it until it’s too late.

It’s so easy to ensure you have that early warning of a fire.

Fit smoke alarms on every level of your home and test them weekly.

You can buy smoke alarms from DIY stores, electrical stores and most high street supermarkets.

If your property is rented, new legislation that is due to come into force in October 2015 requires landlords to ensure smoke alarms are fitted into all their properties.

If you are a landlord, the government has given Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service a supply of smoke alarms, which the service is giving out for free, to help bridge the gap caused by this new legislation. You can access more information regarding this at www.derbys-fire.gov.uk/fire-safety-rental-properties.

There is a wealth of information regarding smoke alarms and keeping safe on our website at www.derbys-fire.gov.uk. Just click on the link for keeping safe.

Stay safe!