Fire Kills: The ten second task that will help protect what you love

Accidents happen, however small. If the right preparations aren't made, sometimes the consequences can be devastating. 

Picture this, you're sitting down to a nice cup of tea after a busy afternoon. The smell of fresh linen floats around the living room, having lit your luxurious new candle, it 's time for a bit of relaxation. Peace at last.

Just as you finally put your aching feet up, the doorbell rings. You remember you've ordered something, and so begrudgingly, you quickly get up to answer the door.

In your haste, your leg knocks against the coffee table as you stand up. A vase on the coffee table shakes. Out of earshot and whilst you're busy chatting to the delivery driver, the vase crashes as it knocks over. 

The vase empties its little water and shrivelled flowers. You didn't think much of leaving the flowers on the coffee table; they've dried out and you've been meaning to get rid of them anyway.

Standing at the front doorway, oblivious to the mess in the lounge, you watch as the delivery van reverses, and worry that it'll hit your car. You watch intently, and notice that the bins haven't been brought in, so off you go to tidy them. 

Inside, the cosy front room suddenly smells different. The flowers left on the coffee table have proven to be excellent kindling, as they tumble on top of the new candle you lit. 

Meanwhile outside, you realise you've left the front door open and dash over to shut it, after all, you don't want to let the heating out. 

What's that smell? That doesn't smell like your candle, in fact, that smells like smoke. You open the door, and head back inside to check. 

Your peaceful living room has been overcome by smoke, the coffee table raging with amber flames.

It's too late. 

Whilst it's unpleasant to think about, making preparations and taking precautions in your home can make all the different when disaster strikes.

That's why we're proudly supporting the Nation Fire Chiefs Council Fire Kills Campaign, and encouraging you to test your smoke alarm regularly. 

Ten second tasks

What can you acheive in ten seconds? You could empty a bin, clean a toilet, or wipe down a surface. A lot can be done in short bursts of time, and breaking actions down like this can help to accomplish lots of important tasks.

What else can you do in ten seconds? Test your smoke alarm. In just ten seconds, which may have otherwise been wasted, you can press that 'TEST' button.

Complete this ten second task each week, and you'll be taking a big step in protecting the things that you love. 

More on smoke alarms

How to make sure your smoke alarm works

Test the batteries in your smoke alarm every month. Change them every year. Never remove them.

  • Never disconnect or take the batteries out of your alarm if it goes off by mistake.
  • Standard battery operated alarms are the cheapest option, but the batteries need to be replaced every year.
  • A lot of people forget to check the batteries, so longer life batteries are better.
  • An alarm with 10 year batteries is the best option.
  • Mains-powered alarms are powered by your home power supply. Generally they don't need replaceable batteries, but need to be installed by a qualified electrician.
  • Alarms that plug into a light socket use a rechargeable battery, which is charged when the light is on.
  • You can have linked alarms installed, so that when one alarm detects a fire they all go off together. This is useful if you live in a large house or over several levels.