The GOODPOINT campaign will be launched in conjunction with the Devon and Somerset Fire Service and is backed by Fire Minister Brandon Lewis MP. It follows the results of a recent survey* revealing that over 85% of people will put themselves at risk of injury by climbing dangerously on a chair, leaning over bannisters or balancing on a stepladder – with a worrying number of these people being over the age of 55.
Ownership of smoke alarms in the UK is estimated at 86%, however 28% of fire fatalities occur in homes where there is a smoke alarm but it is no longer working. In fact, you are four times more likely to die if your smoke alarm is not working. It is imperative that homeowners test smoke alarms regularly and effectively but unfortunately smoke alarms are often in difficult to access areas with particularly hard-to-reach ceilings.
Philip Martin, Area Manager for the Community Safety and Risk Reduction for Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue, identified that the risk of injury was a barrier to the testing of smoke alarms and so designed a simple tool to make the task easier and safer; “Sadly I have seen first-hand the tragic and needless loss of life in homes where smoke alarms were fitted but failed to operate when they were needed the most. It quickly became apparent that whilst the Fire Service was excellent at providing and helping fit smoke alarms, particularly in elderly people’s homes, no provision was being made for a method of testing the smoke alarm safely on a regular basis.”
The GOODPOINT Smoke Alarm Tester has been created to do just this. Designed as a long pole with a pointed finger on the end and a campaign message focusing on testing safely, it is perfect for assisting people who have difficulty in reaching and testing their smoke detectors. It is particularly suited for the elderly or vulnerable who are at greater risk. Every year falls are a major cause of injury for the over 65s and over half the people in England who died in home fires last year were 65 years old or above.
Despite the GOODPOINT campaign launching in two weeks’ time, the product has already been purchased in bulk by a number of fire services in the UK and other businesses including social housing repairs and maintenance provider, The Mears Group and care agency group, Home Instead. The campaign will officially launch with the product being sent out for review to journalists, medical and rehabilitation personnel, care companies and sheltered housing providers. The campaign will include social media, led with a #GOODPOINT hashtag and case studies of those injured whilst testing their smoke alarm. More information can be found at thewww.goodpointcampaign.com website. A new website will be launched at the start of the campaign.
For more information contact Bracken Jelier on 01392 666 291 or via email at[email protected]
*The GOODPOINT Campaign conducted a survey with OnePoll which found that, out of 1000 people asked, over half would risk their personal safety by climbing on to a chair and 24% would balance on a step ladder. Just fewer than 10% would put themselves at risk by leaning right over their bannisters in order to reach their smoke alarm. Respondents also included more detail about their own situations; one person also explained that they have never tested their smoke alarm because they knew that they would not be able to do it safely.