Ashford firefigh"> Failed smoke alarm prompts test reminder

Failed smoke alarm prompts test reminder

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Failed smoke alarm prompts test reminder

Posted: 07/07/2008 15:43:55

Ashford firefighters are issuing a reminder to residents with hard-wired smoke alarms to regularly check back-up batteries are working, to make sure they will activate and alert you to fire in your home if the hard-wired system fails.

This follows an incident in Earlsworth Road, Willesborough on Sunday morning where a woman and five children escaped uninjured from a house fire, even though both the electrically powered and back-up battery powered smoke alarm systems failed to activate.

When fire broke out in the downstairs kitchen of the two-storey terraced house just before 5am, it was only the sound of a child coughing that woke the mother and alerted her to the blaze. Discovering the house was full of smoke, the woman quickly got her children, including a baby, out of the building and raised the alarm.

Ashford Watch Manager Mark Thomas said: “Two fire appliances attended the scene and fire crews wearing breathing apparatus contained the fire damage to the kitchen. The home sustained some smoke damage but the luckily the occupants escaped unharmed. This is very much down to the mothers’ prompt actions in getting everyone out and staying out of the building.”

He added: “It is unfortunate and extremely rare for hard-wired smoke alarm systems to fail, but the advice is to always be prepared for this eventuality and get in to a routine of regularly testing the batteries in back-up devices.

He continued: “Whatever smoke alarms you have fitted in your home you should ensure they are properly maintained so that should fire strike, you will receive vital early warning, allowing you and your family time to escape the devastating effects of fire.”

The fire is being treated as accidental and is believed to have started in an extractor fan.

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.

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 their website www.kent.fire-uk.org.

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