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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

No HFRC at Fatal House Fire Property

27/05/2011

A property on Thacker Drive where a fatal fire occurred on Monday evening had not had a free Home Fire Risk Check Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service has revealed.

“During a free Home Fire Risk Check, we not only check every room in the home for potential fire hazards, we speak to people about their everyday behaviour in the home to try and identify anything they do that may increase the risk of a fire in the home."

Lichfield Assistant Area Commander, Paul Cullen

The fire claimed the life of 49-year-old Elizabeth Dawson and is believed to have been started by a cigarette after the woman had been smoking in bed.

The fire is Staffordshire’s sixth fatal fire involving smoking materials since 2009, with the last fatal fire in Lichfield also being caused by smoking materials.

Lichfield Assistant Area Commander, Paul Cullen said: “It is especially tragic when a fatal house fire occurs and a free Home Fire Risk Check could have substantially reduced the risk of a fire.

“During a free Home Fire Risk Check, we not only check every room in the home for potential fire hazards, we speak to people about their everyday behaviour in the home to try and identify anything they do that may increase the risk of a fire in the home. This includes people who smoke – where do they smoke? What do they do with their cigarettes once they’ve finished with them?

“We’d urge people to use proper ashtrays on flat surfaces, where they cannot be knocked over and to ensure that when they put their cigarettes out, they are fully out. We’d also encourage people not to smoke near to combustible materials, such as bedding, sofas or curtains.

“Booking a Home Fire Risk Check couldn’t be easier, you can call freephone on 0800 0241 or you can book online via our website. Anyone can have a free Home Fire Risk Check and we encourage those who have no had one yet to book theirs now. It could just save your life.”

Crews have been in the area on a daily basis since the fire offering local residents free Home Fire Risk Checks. Over 50 people have so far taken up the offer of a free Home Fire Risk Check and over 100 people have expressed an interest in receiving one.

Paul Cullen added: “Crews will remain in the area for the next couple of weeks so if you do see a fire engine around your way, please feel free to have a chat to the crew who will be pleased carry out a free Home Fire Risk Check or alternatively arrange a more suitable time and date to return.”