Don’t forget to test your smoke alarm when clocks go forward this weekend

HELP to keep your family safe by checking your smoke alarm every time you change your clocks.

The very simple but important message comes from Essex County Fire and Rescue Service.

A new video from the Fire Kills campaign highlights the importance of keeping your family fire-safe. The hard-hitting video features a young boy exploring the burnt-out shell of his former home and examining his charred old toys.

It asks viewers to make a life-saving promise this Easter - to keep their loved ones safe from fire.

Last year alone 15 children died in fires across the country, and the heart-wrenching video aims to remind everyone exactly what’s at stake in a house fire.

Essex County Fire & Rescue Service community liaison officer, James Taylor said: “A working smoke alarm is a proven life-saver.

“It’s absolutely essential to keep you and your family safe - but only half of all householders who own a smoke alarm say they test it is working on a regular basis.

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“There were 30,709 accidental fires in the home across the country last year and 15 children lost their lives, five in our local area.

“Don’t take a chance on your family’s lives - promise to test your alarms when you change your clocks on the 31st March and then make it a household habit to check it every week.”

Uttlesford District Council is backing the campaign. Community safety officer Martin Ford said: “A working smoke alarm saves lives and can buy you and your family the valuable time you need to get out, stay out and call 999.

“Many people will already have a list of household tasks and DIY plans for the Easter holiday, so it’s the perfect opportunity to add this simple test to the list.

“This is also a family time and the perfect opportunity to test alarms for older relatives who might find it hard to reach their alarms but are at greater risk.

“Over half the people who died in fires last year were over 65. By pushing the ‘TEST’ button on every smoke alarm you could save the lives of your nearest and dearest.”

• If you do not have a smoke alarm contact Essex County Fire & Rescue Service to see if you qualify for a free fire safety home visit. Call 0845-601 2495 or visit