Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service is calling on people in Sefton to spring into action at the end of March and make sure they have working smoke alarms in their home.

The clock change for British Summer Time takes place on the weekend of March 28 to March 29 this year (2015).

People can make an online pledge to test their smoke alarms on the clock change weekend on the “Fire Kills” Facebook page found at www.facebook.com/firekills .

Jen Taylor, District Prevention Manager for Sefton, said: “Most people think that a fire will never break out in their homes but you’re at least four times more likely to die in a fire in your home if you do not have a working smoke alarm.

“A simple push of the ‘test’ button only takes seconds, so make sure it’s added to your Spring to-do list as it could save your life and the lives of family, friends and neighbours – especially older people who need help testing.

“We’ve seen call-outs in Sefton and Merseyside over the last year where smoke alarms have alerted people to fires, allowing them to escape. They can give vital early warning of a fire.”

Between January 1, 2014, and December 18, 2014, there were a total of 950 accidental dwelling fires in Merseyside. Of these incidents, 362, or 38%, did not have a smoke alarm present. In Sefton, 45% (87 out of 193) of homes that had accidental fires did not have a smoke alarm.

In Knowsley, 28% (23 out of 81) of homes that had accidental fires did not have a smoke alarm. In St Helens, 22% (20 out of 90) of homes that had accidental fires did not have a smoke alarm.

In Liverpool, 41% (149 out of 364) of homes that had accidental fires did not have a smoke alarm. In Wirral, 37% (83 out of 222) of homes that had accidental fires did not have a smoke alarm.

People are asked to check that elderly and vulnerable relatives or neighbours have a smoke alarm fitted on each level of their property and that they are tested each week.

To request free fire safety advice, or to request a Home Fire Safety Check for yourself or someone else, call 0800 731 5958 or go to www.merseyfire.gov.uk. You can also find out more about our fire and rescue service on Twitter by following @MerseyFire.

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