gbboxingA fire service campaign to get people to test their smoke alarms more frequently has won European backing.

Linda McAvan, MEP for Yorkshire & Humber, has signed up for South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue’s free reminder service and is now urging others to do the same. The ‘Press The Button’ service allows people to receive free, regular reminders to test their alarms by email, tweet or text.

Linda said: “Around 12 people die and 120 are severely injured in house fires across Europe every day. Whilst the EU has introduced measures such as child resistant lighters, mandatory self-extinguishing cigarettes, and is moving towards standardised fire regulations, the best thing people can do to protect themselves is to fit, and regularly check their smoke alarms.”

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue research found two thirds of people haven’t tested our smoke alarms in months, with only one in 10 people in saying they follow national guidance to test their smoke alarms weekly.

The campaign has previously received backing from groups including GB Boxing (pictured) after the Service attended more than 100 house fires in the last three years where smoke alarms were fitted but not working, often because the battery was missing or flat.

Kevin Ronan, head of community safety, said: “I’m shocked so many people fail to properly maintain what is potentially a life saving device. Smoke alarms provide an early warning of a fire and can give occupants vital extra minutes to escape, especially at night. But a detector can only save your life if it is working and the battery is checked regularly.”

To sign-up for the reminders, visit