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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

No Working Smoke Alarms at Tamworth House

24/10/2012

Just five days after Push the Button day firefighters have attended a house fire with no working smoke alarms.

"We do everything in our power to help keep people safe in their homes, including providing smoke alarms free of charge, and all we ask in return is that people test their smoke alarms once a week to make sure they work."

Station Manager Jim Bywater

Firefighters were called to a semi-detached house on Madrona in Amington at just before midnight last night.

The occupants, a couple in their 60s, had put the dishwasher on before going to bed and an electrical fault had caused a fire.

The man happened to wake up and realised there was smoke in the bedroom so was able to evacuate himself and his wife.

Station Manager Jim Bywater said: “It was sheer luck that the man happened to wake up at that point, had he not there’s every chance we could have been dealing with a double fatality.

“They had one smoke alarm fitted downstairs but it did not work so they had no early warning to the fire and by the time smoke reached upstairs it was a severe blaze.

“Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus tackled the fire using one hose reel jet. The kitchen has been destroyed in the blaze and the rest of the house is smoke logged.

“Both occupants required oxygen therapy at the scene and the man was also taken to hospital for further treatment as a precaution. 

“Firefighters across the county spent Friday October 19 promoting our Push the Button campaign and we also had a mass synchronised Push the Button event at 7pm on Friday night, encouraging residents to test their alarms together.

“Had the smoke alarm in this property been tested on Friday, the occupants would have been aware it didn’t work and have had chance to replace it. We do everything in our power to help keep people safe in their homes, including providing smoke alarms free of charge, and all we ask in return is that people test their smoke alarms once a week to make sure they work.

“Smoke alarms really are life savers – but only if they work. Each level of the home should have a smoke alarm fitted to the ceiling, preferably above the escape route, and we just want residents to take a few seconds each week to push the button.”

Residents are also advised that appliances, such as dishwashers, should not be in use overnight to reduce the risk of a fire happening when you’re sleeping.