The GOODPOINT campaign has been launched following 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.
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.
Philip Martin, the Community Safety Manager for Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue, had a moment of inspiration when he realised how difficult it was for some of the people he advised on smoke alarms to actually test them. Philip’s original idea became The GOODPOINT Smoke Alarm Tester; “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 product has already been adopted 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.