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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Students create model 'smoke house' for fire and rescue service

20/03/2015

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Firefighters have teamed up with college students in Tamworth as part of an innovative project to educate people on fire safety in the home.

"By showing people the shocking reality of the situation we hope to raise awareness of fire safety in the home and the importance of ensuring that every household has working smoke alarms and that people close doors and switch off all electrical appliances at night. House fires are decreasing year on year but any such incident is one too many and we are determined to use innovative and interesting ways to convey our fire safety message and keep our communities safe." 

Tamworth Community Safety Officer Tom Osborne

Six young people studying Level Three in Site Carpentry at South Staffordshire College Torc Campus have crafted a fully furnished model house.

The replica of a small family home will act as a valuable fire prevention tool as it will be used to demonstrate how smoke travels around a property.

Community Safety Officers will use the model - which measures 1200mm long, 1200mm high and 600mm wide - during visits to schools and when they are giving talks to local groups and organisations.

They will be able to open up the front of the house and lift the roof so that the living room, kitchen and two bedrooms can be fully showcased.

The team will hide pellets in carefully constructed draws and cupboards within the house. When the pellets are set off, they create smoke which moves through the ground floor before rising to the bedrooms, demonstrating the speed and route in which it travels.

Tamworth Community Safety Officer Tom Osborne said: "The model house is a great visual tool which will help us to demonstrate just how rapidly smoke from a fire in the kitchen can spread to fill the entire house, reaping serious and potentially life-threatening consequences.

"By showing people the shocking reality of the situation we hope to raise awareness of fire safety in the home and the importance of ensuring that every household has working smoke alarms and that people close doors and switch off all electrical appliances at night. House fires are decreasing year on year but any such incident is one too many and we are determined to use innovative and interesting ways to convey our fire safety message and keep our communities safe."

Curriculum Coordinator Roy Carvel added: "The project really captured the imagination of the students and they enjoyed working on something that will raise awareness of fire safety and potentially save lives. Building the miniature house was quite different from other assignments that the students do as part of their course so it was a new challenge. The young people were able to be creative with the interior of the house, giving it a realistic appearance which will allow people to visualise the scenario as it unfolds."