Top talents from Great Britain’s Olympic boxing squad are lending their weight to a public safety campaign which really packs a punch.
Four young fighters have taken time out from their busy training schedules to back South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue services’s latest drive.
Young men and women from the team are supporting the campaign, which is calling on householders to make sure their smoke alarms work.
South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue’s free Press The Button service gives residents regular reminders to test their smoke alarms - after fresh figures revealed thousands of people in the county fail to make regular routine checks.
Firefighters have been to dozens of house fires in the last three years where the alarm battery was either missing or flat, putting people’s lives at risk.
All four members of GB Boxing’s Olympic squad, who train at the world-class English Institute of Sport in Attercliffe, have lent their support to the campaign.
European Champion Lisa Whitehead said: “As elite athletes in a demanding contact sport, we know how important it is to look after ourselves.
“We think it’s just as important for people to take steps to look after themselves and their loved ones and that’s why we’re backing this campaign to make people safer.
“We encourage as many people as possible in South Yorkshire to sign up.”
Also involved are Sam Maxwell, Qais Ashfaq and Jack Bateson, who all train at the state of the art gym which opened four years ago at the EIS.
The boxers have been based in Sheffield for nine years and among the team was 2012 Olympic gold medallist Nicola Adams.
Only smoke alarms fitted with working batteries give people the vital extra minutes needed to escape a fire in their homes, so fire chiefs hope hundreds of people will sign up to the new service.
Kevin Ronan, head of community safety, said: “Only working smoke alarms save lives.
“We know how easy it is to forget to test your batteries, but by signing up to this free service we promise to give you a regular, gentle reminder which may one day save your life.
“Statistics show you are twice as likely to die in a house fire if you don’t have a working alarm,” he added.
The fire service quizzed over 250 adults across South Yorkshire.
The good news was that 95 per cent of those questioned had at least one smoke alarm fitted in their homes.
But only 11 per cent said they tested their alarms every week, which is the recommendation from fire experts.
To sign up visit www.pressthebutton.co.uk to get reminders via email, text or tweets.