FAMILIES and child carers are being urged to be “safety heroes” by taking measures to stay safe as part of Child Safety Week 2014, which runs from next Monday until, Sunday, June 29.

Run by the Child Accident Prevention Trust, the campaign is being supported by Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service (HWFRS).

With preventable accidents one of the biggest killers in the UK, the message of the week is that a few moments’ extra thought can make all the difference.

Actions like testing 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, which can take just seconds, are recommended.

Station Commander Alan Haley, of HWFRS, said: “There’s nothing more important than the safety of a child in the home and 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."

He added: “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, chief executive 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 services are supporting the week and families to make a real difference to protecting children."

For advice on fire safety go to gov.uk/firekills or hwfire.org.uk