This humble mammal may not look like a hero but its message WILL save lives.
The bumbling stoat is the star of a new cartoon and the face of a Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service campaign to promote the use of smoke alarms.
The Don’t Get a Stoat campaign, aimed at children, shows the importance of getting an alarm as well as correctly positioning it along with regularly testing and maintenance.
The quirky animation covers the fictitious plight of the hapless rodent being plucked from its natural environment by people hoping to harness its distinctive cry.
Lacking both the cunning of its weasel cousin and the good looks of the ferret things look bleak for the South Eastern Panic Stoat.
Community Safety Group Manager Glenn Bowyer said:
"This animation will highlight the importance of smoke alarms in a new and innovative way.
"We are hoping to get the attention of children through the character and from there get the vital message across to parents."
“Smoke alarms save lives – it’s that simple.
"There are people now playing with their grandchildren at home or climbing mountains who would be dead if they didn't have a smoke alarm.
“Nothing is more upsetting to a firefighter than seeing a tragedy that could so easily have been avoided."
Smoke alarms should be installed on every level on a house, ideally in a hallway or landing.
You should also consider any rooms where electrical devices are used particularly bedrooms.
They should be positioned on the ceiling about 30cm away from walls and light fittings.
Once correctly installed they 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 ten years it should be replaced entirely.
Smoke detectors installed in a kitchen or bathroom can be prone to false alarms.
In the past year there have been 824 dwelling fires in Hampshire.
Of these incidents 531 had a smoke alarm present and 78% of these worked.
The latest Home Office figures show that nationally 11% of households still don’t have a working smoking alarm.
The countrywide statistics also show that in 28% of dwelling fires the alarm did not activate.
An alarm not going off in the event of a fire suggests it had not been positioned correctly or regularly tested and maintained.
To watch the new animation and get more information go to www.hantsfire.gov.uk/stoat