Fire brigade's smoke alarm warning

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PEOPLE are being urged to make a new year's resolution to stay safe.

Cleveland Fire Brigade is urging people to check their smoke alarms every week as it could save lives.

Latest figures show nationally there were an estimated 33,000 accidental house fires which resulted in 210 fatalities and 5,700 injuries in 2009/10.

But fire chiefs say being prepared and following some simple steps will make you safer in your home.

Les Jones, head of community safety, said: "It only takes minutes to check your smoke alarm is working which could save your life. Why not do it on a set day of the week or as part of your cleaning routine?

"Cleveland Fire Brigade offers free home fire safety visits which include the free fitting of smoke alarms where needed and helpful safety advice. Please call us to arrange one at your convenience as prevention is better than cure."

People should call Cleveland Fire Brigade on (01429) 874063 for your home fire safety visit and fire officers will offer safety advice and fit smoke alarms if required.

Fire chiefs say people should decide in advance an emergency escape plan and practice using the escape routes, especially in the dark.

They should also have an assembly point outside where everyone in the household knows to meet in the event of a fire.

Before going to bed, close all doors and turn off electrical appliances , and do not leave any in 'standby' mode.

Make sure your keys are readily available to unlock external doors, but not visible from outside.

People should make sure any alternative ways out you have identified, are also able to be opened in an emergency. Do not block doorways or hallways.

In the event of a fire, get everyone out, then telephone the fire brigade from outside, closing doors as you leave.