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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Increase in Accidental House Fires in South Staffs

24/08/2011

Accidental house fires in South Staffordshire have quadrupled in the last three months, going from just two fires in May to eight fires last month, prompting firefighters to remind residents to ‘Push the Button’ on their smoke alarm.

"We would urge everyone to ensure they have working smoke alarms. A working smoke alarm gives you an early warning of a fire."

South Staffordshire Risk Reduction Officer, Dawn Turner

South Staffordshire Risk Reduction Officer, Dawn Turner said: "There is nothing in particular that any of the fires have in common. They have been the usual accidental causes – cooking left unattended or electrical faults in appliances.

"We would urge everyone to ensure they have working smoke alarms. A working smoke alarm gives you an early warning of a fire and allows you precious vital seconds to get yourself and anyone else in the house safely outside. Fires can quite easily go unnoticed, often until it’s too late, but smoke alarms give an audible warning which neighbours or passers by may hear if you don’t happen to be home or are asleep and don’t wake up. Smoke alarms save lives.

"There is no excuse for anyone in Staffordshire not to have working smoke alarms because as a Service we offer free Home Fire Risk Checks where we come to your house to have a chat about fire safety.

"Whilst carrying out the Home Fire Risk Check, we will check your smoke alarms and if they don’t work we will replace them free of charge. If you don’t have any smoke alarms fitted, or do not have them on all levels of the home, we will again fit them free of charge.

"Simply call 0800 0241 999 and take advantage of our free Home Fire Risk Checks so that we can help to keep you as safe as possible from fire in your home.

"Often, accidental house fires are through no fault of the occupiers so although there is little that could have been done to prevent the fire, simple safety tips can help to keep you safe should a fire occur."