The aim of the campaign is to encourage a long term behavioural change in the public so that weekly testing of their smoke alarms becomes a habit. New survey results from the Fire Kills campaign1 show that people vastly underestimate the impact of toxic smoke. Of those surveyed: almost half (43 per cent) believe they could survive for more than two minutes in a smoke filled room; nearly half (48 per cent) think they would be alerted to a fire by the smell of the smoke. almost a fifth (18 per cent) believe a pet (eg their dog barking), or someone else would alert them to a house fire. The only way to buy vital time to escape from a house fire is by having a working smoke alarm. Although 90 per cent of those surveyed own smoke alarms, 70 per cent admit to not testing them every week1. This is despite the fact that you are more than twice as likely to die in an accidental house fire if you do not have a working smoke alarm2. The 'Don't Drown in Toxic Smoke' advertising campaign dramatically shows how quickly toxic smoke can impact on the human body. A sleeping couple are shown being overcome by the drowning sensation of toxic smoke when a fire breaks out in their home at night. Running in England from October 5 2009 to March 2010, the ground-breaking television campaign is complimented by print, radio and digital advertising. Fire Minister Shahid Malik said: "Toxic smoke from a fire will affect your ability to breathe in a similar way to drowning - after just two to three breaths you're unconscious. The only way to buy more precious seconds to escape is by having a working smoke alarm. Owning a smoke alarm and hoping that it works is not enough to protect your home and loved ones. "House fires can begin in a range of ways but they do not have to be fatal. Planning and preparing for the unexpected is key. Take immediate action by getting a smoke alarm, testing it weekly and planning an escape route in the event of a fire. You can get a free home fire risk check from your local Fire and Rescue Service. These simple steps could save lives." Actress Jill Halfpenny is supporting the campaign. She said: "As a mum I am very conscious of trying to keep my home as safe as possible to reduce the risks from fire, which is why I am supporting this important Fire Kills campaign. The fact is that fires can and do happen, so it's important to check your smoke alarm weekly and to be aware of the dangers. Ignorance is definitely not bliss when it comes to keeping your family safe." There are five key things that you can do to protect your home and family from fire: Fit a smoke alarm on each level of the property. When a fire starts, there is little time to escape so an early warning is vital. Battery operated smoke alarm units should be replaced after 10 years. Or consider installing a mains powered alarm. Test alarms weekly - a smoke alarm can buy valuable time, if it's working. Plan your escape route - make sure you and your family know the quickest way out in the event of fire. Consider an alternative route in case your usual one is blocked. Stay safe in the kitchen. This is the area where most house fires start. It only takes a minute to check electrical appliances are switched off. And never leave cooking unattended. Ask the experts. Fire and Rescue Services in England offer free home fire risk checks to identify potential fire risks and advise what to do to reduce or prevent them. This may even include the free installation of a smoke alarm. If a fire does break out in the home, then Get out, Stay out and Call 999.
Agency Producer: Tim Page Client: COI Fire Safety Creative: Mike Boles Creative: Jerry Hollens Production Company:Blink Producer: Matt Fone Director: Dougal Wilson Director of Photography: Alex Barber Post Production House: The Moving Picture Company Offline Editor: Joe Guest