People are being reminded to test their smoke alarms when the clocks go forward this weekend.
Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service hopes that when people will turn their clocks forward an hour on Sunday, they will also test that their smoke alarms are working.
Smoke is dubbed the silent killer and is responsible for more than half of all deaths in accidental fires in the home.
In the majority of fatal house fires, smoke alarms were either absent or did not go off, and a common cause was missing or flat batteries.
A simple push of the test button checks both the power supply and the detection mechanism, and should be carried out as a vital part of any household routine.
A working smoke alarm can buy valuable time to get out, stay out and call 999.
The fire service has issue the following advice:
• Make sure you fit a smoke alarm on every level of your home and test them regularly.
• Make testing your smoke alarm part of your household routine.
• Change your battery once a year, or invest in a ten-year alarm.
• Clean the alarm casing twice a year to ensure dust doesn’t block the sensor.
• Never remove the battery in your smoke alarm.
• Make sure that everyone in your home knows what to do if a fire breaks out and practice your escape route.