News release text
A woman and her four month old baby were led to safety from their Selbourne Road flat last night (Thursday), after a fire broke out in the property below.
It is believed the fire was started by a cigarette, after the occupant in the ground floor flat was smoking in bed. Fortunately a neighbour living opposite heard the smoke alarm sounding, saw smoke and phoned 999.
Two fire engines were on the scene within minutes and Medway Watch Manager, Jim Ramsden, said: “The fire was out when we arrived and neighbours had led the woman and her baby to safety via a smoke filled stairway.
“As a precaution the baby girl was given oxygen therapy at the scene by paramedics as just three breaths of fire smoke can be fatal, even for a young and healthy adult but babies, children and older people are most at risk if a fire breaks out in their home, as their bodies are even less able to cope.
“There’s no doubt that having a working smoke alarm makes all the difference as the woman and her child might not have had such a lucky escape. Smokers also need to be aware of the risks of smoking in the home and how easily this can lead to fires.”
Follow these simple tips to help prevent a fire at home:
Put it out, right out! Make sure your cigarette is fully extinguished
Fit smoke alarms and test them weekly - a working smoke alarm can buy you valuable time to get out, stay out and call 999
Never smoke in bed, take care when you’re tired, taking any sort of drugs or have been drinking alcohol. It’s very easy to fall asleep while your cigarette is still burning. If you need to lie down, don’t light up. You could easily doze off and set your bed or sofa alight
Never leave lit cigarettes, cigars or pipes unattended - they can easily overbalance as they burn down
Use a proper, heavy ashtray that can’t tip over easily and is made of a material that won’t burn.
Close all inside doors at night - closed doors help to reduce the spread of fire, giving you more time to escape.
Ask the experts – for free home fire safety advice or call Kent Fire and Rescue Service on 0800 923 7000 (free from landlines)