Smoke detectors save family's lives after tumble dryer catches fireBy Jennie Slevin
February 12, 2013
A family of five escaped unharmed after a smoke alarm ‘saved their lives’ when a fire started in their tumble dryer.
Firefighters are urging households to make sure they have working smoke detectors after the appliance, which had been left on overnight, burst into flames and spread to the house at around 2.30am on Saturday, February 2.
When fire crews arrived at the home in Humber Way, Sandhurst, they found the family already outside.
Gary Nash, watch manager at Bracknell fire station, said: “The smoke detector woke them up and saved the family’s lives.
“The whole house was filled with smoke. If it wasn’t for the smoke detector they may not have known.”
The blaze began in a shed-style outbuilding attached to the house. Flames broke a downstairs window and the fire spread inside and into the roof space.
Firefighters want to ensure every home has a smoke detector which works and is checked regularly.
The plea comes after statistics reveal almost a fifth of homes which suffered fires in Bracknell Forest last year did not have a working smoke alarm.
Ellie Gray, RBFRS spokeswoman said: “Statistics show you are four times more likely to die in a fire if you don’t have a smoke alarm that works.
“It’s vital to make sure you have enough smoke alarms for your home, particularly if you live in a large property or one with several storeys.
“You can help to protect your loved ones by installing a smoke alarm on every level of your home; the best places are at the bottom of the stairs, with further alarms on each landing.
“You should also consider fitting alarms in other rooms where there are electrical appliances.”
She added: “To keep your smoke alarms in good working order you should check the battery once a week and change it once a year, unless it has a 10-year battery.”
RBFRS are offering free home fire safety checks to vulnerable individuals, including the elderly and those with disabilities.
During the check, members of the fire prevention team will visit homes to point out possible risks and to give advice on preventing or reducing fires.
Eligible households will also be provided with a free 10-year battery smoke detector which will be fitted.
For those who do not qualify for a free home check, there’s fire safety information available online and homeowners can fill out a self-assessment form to find out how safe their home is.
For more information call 0800 587 6679 or go to www.rbfrs.co.uk.