Campaign Launched to Highlight ‘Fire Kills’

The Fire Kills campaign has returned to highlight the everyday accidents that can cause a fire in your home.

Launching today, the revamped campaign will highlight that candles, cigarettes, portable heaters and overloaded extension leads can lead to fires in any room of a home.

While the majority (90%) of homes now have at least 1 working smoke alarm, 23% of people say they never test them.

UK Minister for Crime, Policing and the Fire Service Kit Malthouse said:

It’s easy to make mistakes. Being alert to hazards after a long day at work, or with distractions at home is never easy.
This is why this campaign is so important – it reminds us of how we can prevent the unthinkable.
At the very least, if you do nothing else, please buy smoke alarms for your home so you and yours can sleep easy.

The campaign, developed with the help of the National Fire Chiefs Council also urges the public to test their smoke alarms at least once a month. The campaign is also partnering with other organisations, including Dementia UK and retailer B&Q, to help spread the message.

Home Office analysis has found you are around 8 times more likely to die in a fire if you do not have a working smoke alarm in your home. Existing research also indicates that some people are more at risk of fire than others, such as older people and people with disabilities.

Susan Drayton, Clinical Lead of the Admiral Nurse Dementia Helpline at Dementia UK:

We are pleased to be a part of this campaign which will help to raise awareness of fire risks to some of the most vulnerable people in society. In cases where people have been diagnosed with dementia, loss of memory could cause food to be left on the stove for too long, for example. Sensory and spatial awareness may change too leaving people with the dementia unaware of fire hazards, or not realising that a fire has started in the first place.
Whilst installing a smoke alarm can help to mitigate against these risks, people and families with dementia can also contact their local fire service who can provide a free home fire safety visit to identify any hazards.

The latest Home Office analysis of fires has also found that most accidental fires start with cooking appliances (48%), for example, by something flammable being left too close to the cooker, such as a tea towel.

To support Fire Kills, B&Q will be providing dedicated spaces in its stores for selling smoke alarms, which will highlight the campaign. B&Q will also be linking customers to Home Office advice on its website and encouraging staff to share this guidance with customers.

A B&Q spokesperson said:

We’re pleased to be part of the Home Office’s Fire Kills campaign for 2020. Alongside the Home Office, we want to encourage customers to ensure that essential measures such as working smoke alarms and regular alarm testing are put in place to keep their home safe.

It is recommended that smoke alarms are fitted on every floor of your home and tested at least once a month.

Neil Odin, Chair of the National Fire Chiefs Council National Prevention Committee, said:

NFCC has worked closely with the Home Office on the Fire Kills campaign. We believe every home should have at least 1 working smoke alarm on every level, which are regularly tested – no home should be unprotected.
It is essential people are aware of fire risks in their home and we encourage people to fit smoke alarms in the rooms they use most. They should also take preventative measures to keep themselves and their families safe. This includes being aware of household risks such as electrical items, candles and white goods, and make sure they plan an escape route which is practised with people living within the home.

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