DEVON & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service as part of the Fire Kills campaign is encouraging local families and child carers to be a “Safety Hero” by taking simple measures to stay safe.

This is part of Child Safety Week 2014, run by the Child Accident Prevention Trust from 23 to 29 June.

The message coming loud and clear is that by taking a few moments’ extra thought can make all the difference.

Small steps like testing your smoke alarms and making sure candles and matches are out of reach, or a quick glance down the hall to ensure an escape route is clear in case of a fire, take just seconds but can save lives.

Alan Coxon, Community Community Safety Prevention Manager said: “There’s nothing more important than the safety of a child in the home. So getting into the habit of taking a quick glance round the room for hazards is a simple step that will make safety an automatic reflex for any parent or carer, and help give real peace of mind.

“Another really vital thing mums and dads can do to keep their family safe is talk to their kids about the importance of fire safety and make sure they know what to do if the worst happens.

"Fitting a smoke alarm and involving the children in testing it regularly can also help keep them fire-aware and – most importantly – provide the vital seconds you need to escape in a fire. This could develop a life-saving habit for the future.”

Katrina Philips, the CEO of the Child Accident Prevention Trust, said, "Preventing deaths and serious injury from accidents lies at the heart of Child Safety Week. Families can take simple steps to protect themselves from the devastation caused by fire; testing smoke alarms, putting matches and candles out of reach and keeping escape routes clear all take a few moments.

"We are delighted that fire and rescue authorities are supporting the week and families to make a real difference to protecting children.”