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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Smoke Alarms Save Elderly Woman’s Life

06/10/2011

Smoke alarms fitted by Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service have saved the life of an 82-year-old woman.

"This lady had received a free Home Fire Risk Check from us which included us fitting smoke alarms for her free of charge and it is those smoke alarms which have ultimately saved her life."

Station Manager, Mark Wilson

Neighbours were alerted to a fire at a house on Hillside Road in Cheddleton at around 10.15pm last night after hearing the smoke alarms operating.

Crews from Leek, Ipstones and Longton attended the incident and forced entry into the property after neighbours told them the occupant was still inside. Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus searched for the occupier and found her upstairs.

Station Manager, Mark Wilson said: "Some food had been left cooking unattended and caught fire. The smoke alarms operated which alerted the neighbours and they then called the fire service and tried to raise the lady.

"On arrival, there was no visible fire however there was smoke logging throughout the property and no immediate sign of the occupier. Firefighters went upstairs where they found the lady and lead her to safety. She was taken to hospital for precautionary checks and has since been released.

"If there hadn’t been working smoke alarms in the property we could have been dealing with a much more serious incident. We cannot stress enough how essential having working smoke alarms is – without them it’s unlikely the neighbours would have realised there was a fire in progress until it was too late.

"This lady had received a free Home Fire Risk Check from us which included us fitting smoke alarms for her free of charge and it is those smoke alarms which have ultimately saved her life."

The Service will be launching its Push the Button campaign next week, which will remind people to check their smoke alarms on a weekly basis. The campaign is driven by the fact that although nine out of ten household have smoke alarms a shocking seven out of ten don’t test them.