News release text
Callouts to two house fires yesterday (25 March) - one with a working smoke alarms and one without - have prompted Dover firefighters to warn residents to stop taking a chance with their safety.
Crews were called to the home of a 30-year-old man in Oswald Road just before 8.30am and dealt with a fire in an electrical consumer unit in the hallway of his two-storey property. The man, who was upstairs getting ready for work, was alerted to the fire when his smoke alarm sounded. He rushed downstairs and, finding the ground floor completely smoked-logged, quickly got out and called the fire service. He was unharmed and the damage was contained to the unit.
Later the same morning, at 11.50am, firefighters were called to a kitchen fire in Reach Road, St Margarets. On this occasion, a woman was in the lounge with her toddler and only realised there was a fire when she heard a smashing sound coming from her kitchen. This was the sound of a glass lightshade shattering as it overheated due to a fire on the halogen hob.
When the woman went to investigate, she found her kitchen engulfed in thick smoke. It is believed that the cooker had been switched on accidently and had set fire to a child’s toy that had been placed on it. After attempting to put the fire out, the woman quickly got herself and her child out of the property.
Watch Manager Paul Mellett said: “The woman and child had a lucky escape, because although this was a relatively small fire, it caused a significant amount of smoke. Just three breaths of fire smoke can render you unconscious, so if the fire had been allowed to burn undiscovered for longer, there could have been serious consequences.”
Crews ensured that the fire was fully out and fitted two smoke alarms in the house. The occupants were uninjured.
Paul added: “I cannot emphasise enough how important it is for residents to ensure that they have working smoke alarms fitted on each floor of their homes. As both these incidents show, fire can happen when you least expect it and smoke alarms provide early warning and can give occupants valuable extra time to escape. Without them, people are taking an unnecessary chance with their safety.”
KFRS offers free safety advice and a range of free services to help reduce the risk of fires in the home. Where needed, its community safety team can provide free home safety visits. These take around 30 minutes and include advice on escape routes, night time safety routines and fire hazards in the home and, if needed, the fitting of free smoke alarms.
To keep your alarms in working order follow these tips:
Test your smoke alarm by pushing the button on the first of every month
Check the packaging for your smoke alarm to make sure it’s still up to date
Make sure there is at least one smoke alarm on every level of your home
Fit smoke alarms on landings and hallways and in rooms which have an electrical appliance, e.g. a heater, or other risk
Take a moment to check on your loved ones who may need help to ensure they’re fully protected.
For further information on the free advice and services KFRS provides call 0800 923 7000 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.