Smoke alarm saves Folkestone family

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Smoke alarm saves Folkestone family

Posted: 02/07/2008 20:00:43

A smoke alarm proved its weight in gold for a Folkestone family when a fire broke out at their home in Darby Road yesterday.

A mother and her five children escaped unharmed thanks to a working smoke alarm alerting them to blaze in their three-storey terraced house just after 6pm.

Two fire appliances from Folkestone attended the scene and crews using breathing apparatus to tackle the fire a top-floor bedroom. Crews fought to contain the fire to the third floor, and prevented the fire from spreading to neighbouring homes.

Green watch crew manager Mick Smith said: “This incident clearly demonstrates the importance of having working smoke alarms fitted in the home. They provide vital early warning of fire which will allow you and your family to escape. Without the alarm this family would have faced a far more serious incident – with potentially fatal consequences.”

He added: “In this case, we discovered that the batteries were missing from the smoke alarms on the other levels of the house, but as fire can strike anywhere I would strongly recommend you protect your home with a properly maintained smoke alarm each floor of your home and that you test the batteries weekly.”

The home was severely smoke damaged as a result of the fire and the family received assistance from the Red Cross victim support unit.

The cause of the fire is being investigated.

As is routine after such incidents, fire crews will be visiting the local area to offer fire safety advice including free home fire safety checks.

The free checks take about 30 minutes to carry out and firefighters will visit your home to identify potential fire hazards and fit if required free 10-year smoke alarms. They will give home fire safety advice and help you make an escape plan should fire break out in your home.

Ensuring you stay safe from fire is quick and simple. Follow these five essential fire safety tips to help you protect yourself, your family and your home from fire:

• Fit a smoke alarm on each level of your home. When a fire starts, you only have a few minutes to escape so an early warning is vital.

• Test it weekly and NEVER remove the batteries. A working smoke alarm can buy you valuable time to get out, stay out and dial 999.

• Plan your escape route. Make sure you and your family know the quickest way out in the event of fire. Consider an alternative route in case your usual one is blocked.

• Stay safe in the kitchen. This is the area where most house fires start. It only takes a minute to check electrical appliances are switched off. Also, never leave cooking unattended.

• Ask the experts. Kent Fire and Rescue Service offer free home fire safety checks to identify potential fire risks and advise what to do to reduce or prevent them. The checks take about 30 minutes and include if required free 10-year smoke alarms.

To arrange a free Home Fire Safety Check or to find out more call Kent Fire and Rescue Service for free on 0800 923 7000 or visit website www.kent.fire-uk.org.



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