Smoke alarms – tested yours recently?

 Have you heard the one about little Johnny?


Little Johnny’s class went on a school trip to the fire station. The firefighter giving the presentation held up a smoke detector and asked the class: “Does anyone know what this is?”kitchen fire

Little Johnny’s hand shot up and the firefighter called on him.

Little Johnny replied: “That’s how Mummy knows dinner is ready!”


All very humorous. But writing this has really made me think.
My longest relationship ever was with a 19 year old collie cross, called Zak.

I’d had Zak, a rescue dog, from the age of 5 months and it was obvious he had been in a fire. Cigarette smoke scared him, a BBQ terrified him and the sound of the smoke alarm had him quivering like a feather.


I can clearly remember one night, about 3 years ago, standing in the pouring rain, jammies on at 10:30pm, outside in the pitch black with him as the batteries were ‘on the blink’ and the alarm was going crazy. It was easier to keep him outside – he was shaking like a leaf! Like lots of folk, I was annoyed, climbed on a stool and almost did a ‘Mrs Doyle” through a window to take the batteries out.deep fat fryer fire

Did I replace them? I’m ashamed to say no. It hadn’t crossed my mind.

And, yet, last October, BBC Scotland reported the following provisional figures:

57 people died in fires in 2011-12, compared with 52 in 2010-11.

There were 6,149 house fires.

In total, 45% of fatal house fires were caused by matches and smoking mabuckfast bottlesterials.

Cooking appliances were responsible for 58% of accidental house fires, which the latest statistics showed had left 978 people injured in 2010-11.

In line with the previous year’s figures, drink or drugs were suspected to be a factor in 17% of accidental house fires.

In nearly 50% of house fires in 2010-11 there was either no smoke alarm, or the smoke alarm did not work.

I’m pleased to say that my smoke alarm is now working.  Is yours?

And, if not, you might want to watch this.


A note on the author;

Fiona Poustie, MCIPR, CPR Accredited Practitioner, MinstF (Cert)

FionaFiona Poustie photo Poustie is a PR consultant who believes that effective communications engage the emotions as well as the intellect. She believes that PR is about building reputation, solving problems, being there when needed and knowing what to say when horsemeat is found in your burgers.

Please visit her website here and if we caan help you in any way please contact us


photo credit: LAFD via photopin cc
photo credit: Sir Garlichad via photopin cc
photo credit: Fergal Mac Eoinin via photopin cc

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