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Waterford Fire Service urges public test smoke alarms during National Fire Safety Week

In the run up to the annual safety campaigns around Fire Safety Week, Waterford Fire Service is once again urging people to be vigilant of fire risks in their homes, with a special emphasis on testing your smoke alarm.

Fire Safety Week takes place this year from October 17th to 23rd, with the campaign focus encouraging all homes to have working smoke alarms and to test them weekly.

The annual awareness and safety campaign is jointly run with the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service to enhance fire safety across the island, particularly in the home, with a campaign slogan of “Working Smoke Alarms Save Lives – Have you a plan if yours goes off!”

Speaking on the importance of having proper equipment in your home, Senior Assistant Chief Fire Officer, Colin Barden said, “It is a worrying statistic that, on average, 25 people die in fires in Ireland each year. We are encouraging homeowners to act now to keep themselves and their families safe. The importance of having a plan of action, should a fire occur, cannot be overstated.”

“Householders should check that their smoke alarms are fitted properly, are working and test them regularly. We can’t rely on our sense of smell when we are asleep, in fact smoke can put you in a deeper sleep, so you are relying on an alarm to wake you.”

Tuesday October 18th has been designated “Smoke Alarm Day” with special emphasis online and on social media channels across Ireland’s local authorities.

Chief Fire Officer with Waterford Fire Service, Niall Curtin outlined how continuous changes in our living environment mean we need keep reconsidering fire safety in the home.

“Post Covid, many of us are now spending more time at home so it is more important than ever that we are informed as to the steps we can take to protect ourselves and our homes from fire. This is also true at times, such as the upcoming Halloween and Christmas celebrations, when there may be additional risks in our homes such as increased fire load with sources of ignition such as candles and temporary festive lighting.”

For maximum protection one smoke alarm per room is recommended by the Fire Service, with the exception of the bathroom, kitchen and garage.

Heat detectors can also be considered in kitchens where fumes from cooking could lead to unwanted alarm activations. For minimum protection one smoke alarm for each level/floor of your home located in the hallway and landing is necessary.

To find out about how a working smoke alarm can save your life visit www.firesafetyweek.ie or keep an eye out for the hashtags #22FSW, #STOPFIRE and #SmokeAlarmsSaveLives on social media.

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