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Campaign highlights importance of testing smoke alarms

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service is urging residents to test their smoke alarms, as the Government launches a new Fire Kills advertising campaign. 


GMFRS is asking residents to regularly test their smoke alarms and those of people they care for to prevent fire deaths, as a new look Fire Kills advertising campaign is being launched by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).

The Government Fire Kills advertising campaign will run for one month from January across radio, print, digital, outdoor and social media as there is an increase in fire-related emergencies and deaths over the winter months, compared to the rest of the year.

There were more than 160 deaths from accidental fires in the home last year. By simply testing smoke alarms, many more lives could be saved.

Adverts will feature friendly smoke alarms, which will tell the public to make time for their home’s ‘unsung heroes’ by testing their alarms regularly.

A working smoke alarm can buy you valuable time to get out, stay out and call 999. But just half of all householders who own a smoke alarm say that they test it on a regular basis.

Councillor David Acton, Chair of Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Authority, said: “You are four times more likely to die in a fire without a working smoke alarm, but only half of the people who own an alarm say they take the time to check it regularly.

“I’d encourage people in Greater Manchester to make sure you test your smoke alarms this month and get into the habit of testing them each month as they can save you and your family’s life.”

Help keep yourself and your loved ones safe from fire by following these simple steps:

  • Make sure you fit smoke alarms on every level of your home and test them monthly.
  • Make testing your smoke alarm part of your household routine in three easy steps:
    1. Test it by pressing the button once a month
    2. Change the batteries once a year if your alarm has removable batteries
    3. Clean the alarms casing twice a year to ensure dust isn't blocking the sensor
  • Whatever happens, never remove the batteries in your smoke alarms unless you are replacing it.
  • Make sure that everyone in your home knows what to do in a fire and knows your escape route.
  • For more information visit the Fire Kills campaign’s Facebook page at

A working smoke alarm can buy you valuable time to get out, stay out and call 999.

Find out more about Fire Kills at or

Follow Fire Kills on twitter: @Fire_Kills


Case study:

A mother urged families to have a bedtime safety routine in place after escaping a kitchen fire in Stretford.

Firefighters said having a working smoke alarm, along with closing all doors before the family went to bed saved their lives.

The family was already outside when crews from Stretford and Sale arrived at around 2.20am. A fire service trauma technician gave them oxygen and they were taken to Wythenshawe Hospital by paramedics.

Mother of two, Ayshea Hafeez-Ahmed, said: “I cannot praise the firefighters enough, they were absolutely brilliant, all of them. I was expecting to return to devastation but firefighters had been really considerate - they even removed photographs of my children so I could keep them. They definitely went above and beyond what they were required to do.”

Watch Manager John Burgess said: “The smoke alarm woke them up and closing the doors protected their safe route out of the house and contained the fire to the kitchen.

“It was stark the difference closing the doors made - there was quite a severe fire in the kitchen, damage had been caused to the flooring and skirting boards, plaster had come off the walls and ceiling due to the heat but in the adjacent hallway there was just some minor smoke damage.”

Last update: 23/03/2016 08:19:33
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