14:31 04 March 2010
Celebrities from across the music, showbiz and sporting worlds are backing the Governments Fire Kills campaign with a Push It Pledge.
Coronation Street on-screen sisters, Helen Flanagan and Brooke Vincent (aka Rosie and Sophie Webster), along with a host of other famous faces - including Amir Khan, Ainsley Harriet, Jill Halfpenny, Sir Terry Wogan, Darren Campbell, James Martin, Dave Spikey, Nihal and Bobby Friction - are all making a pledge to test their smoke alarm every week.
This is a vital step in helping the nation to reduce the number of deaths and injuries caused by accidental house fires.
Figures shows that while 85%t of people own a smoke alarm, worryingly less than a third test them every week.
This is despite the fact that you are more than twice as likely to die in an accidental house fire if you dont have a working smoke alarm.
Just two to three breaths of toxic smoke can render you unconscious, filling up your lungs and leaving you unable to breathe, just like drowning. And that's why it's crucial that a smoke alarm is not only installed in your home, but that it actually works.
Helen Flanagan, who is supporting the campaign, said: "At home, we've been guilty of not testing our smoke alarms as regularly as we should,
"But this campaign has made me realise how important it is to take just a few seconds every week to push the button and ensure our alarms are working.
"It's scary how quickly a house fire can spread and in so many cases, it's the smoke alarm that can make the difference between someone being able to escape in time, or not. We will be testing our smoke alarms every week from now on."
Fellow supporter Sir Terry Wogan, who himself has suffered a hose blaze, said: "I had a fire at home last year, and can vouch to the excellence of our local fire and rescue service.
"But if it hadn't been for the smoke alarm, even they might have been too late to help, and the consequences could have been fatal for me and my family. Ill make sure that my smoke alarm is tested weekly."
The government's chief fire and rescue adviser, Sir Ken Knight, explained the importance of always checking your smoke alarm works.
"A smoke alarm can buy valuable time to escape from a fire, but only if its working properly.
"It's not enough to just install smoke alarms in your home you must test them every week. The main reason that smoke alarms fail to activate is missing or flat batteries - if the battery needs replacing, do this immediately."
Installing a smoke alarm only takes a few minutes - just follow the manufacturer's instructions that come with it.
The best place is on the ceiling, near or in the middle of the room or hall. The alarm should be at least 30cm (12inches) away from a wall or light.
The more alarms you have, the safer you'll be. Sir Ken Knight recommends you have one on each floor of your home to ensure the earliest detection of a fire.
If you have a TV or other large electrical appliance (such as a computer) in any of the bedrooms, you should fit a smoke alarm there too, but do not fit one in a kitchen or bathroom where smoke or steam may set them off accidentally.
Maintaining your smoke alarm
To keep your smoke alarm in good working order, you should:
Celebrities who've pledged their support for the campaign and have committed to testing their own smoke alarms every week, include broadcaster Sir Terry Wogan, world champion boxer Amir Khan , TV actress Jill Halfpenny, celebrity chef Ainsley Harriott, and many more.
See the full list of stars making their pledge the "push the button" and find out how to keep your family safe at www.direct.gov.uk/firekills.
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