An animated video showing a ‘humble mammal’ bellowing as smoke reaches its nose aims to spread a message that will save lives.
Hampshire Fire and Rescue have launched a ‘Don’t Get a Stoat’ campaign to highlight the importance of getting an alarm to protect your home.
A bumbling stoat is the star of the new cartoon aimed at children to show the importance of getting an alarm as well as correctly positioning it and regularly testing and maintaining it.
The quirky animation shows a hapless rodent being plucked from its natural environment by people who decide to use the creature for its loud cry, positioning it right above their furnace.
Community safety group manager Glenn Bowyer, said: “We are hoping to get the attention of children through the character and from there get the vital message across to parents.
“Nothing is more upsetting to a fire fighter than seeing a tragedy that could so easily have been avoided.”
The service advise that smoke alarms should be installed on every level in a house, and should be tested at least once a month with the battery being replaced once a year.
Twice a year the case should be opened and gently vacuumed to remove dust and after 10 years it should be replaced entirely.
In the past year there have been 824 house fires in Hampshire.
Of these incidents 531 had a smoke alarm and 78 per cent of these worked.