A Swindon family were saved by working smoke alarms early this morning (24 September) after fire broke out in their house.
Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service was called to the property on Crombey Street at 1.54am, with two crews from Swindon fire station being mobilised.
The fire was located in the ground floor kitchen, having started when cooking was left unattended. The smoke triggered the property’s smoke alarm, allowing the five occupants to escape without injury – four children were led to safety by firefighters.
Group Manager Seth Why, Head of Fire Safety for Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “The attending crews reported that the house had working battery operated smoke detectors, which activated and raised the alarm. There was already a lot of smoke from the fire and that could have been a serious risk to life had the family not been woken up.”
He added: “Crews safely extinguished the fire wearing breathing apparatus and using hosereel jets, while ventilation fans were used to clear the house of smoke. Although this fire was relatively small, there was still a real danger to the occupants because of the smoke. Leaving cooking attended is never a good idea, as it can easily escalate to a fire, so we would remind people to not get distracted and take care while in the kitchen.”
Evidence shows that you are more than twice as likely to die in a fire at home if you haven’t got a working smoke alarm. Smoke alarms are the easiest way to alert you to the danger of fire, giving you precious time to escape. They are cheap, easy to get hold of, and simple to install.
To keep your smoke alarms in good working order, you should:
- Test them once a week, by pressing the test button until the alarm sounds.
- Change the batteries once a year (unless mains powered or fitted with a ten-year battery).
- Replace the whole unit every ten years.
- Clean your smoke alarms every three months by using the soft brush of your vacuum cleaner to remove any excess dust.
For more home fire safety advice, or to request a free Safe & Well visit, visit www.dwfire.org.uk/safety-at-home