Lucky escape from early-morning fire

Sun 19 Jan, 2014


Firefighters say a man, a woman and a girl were lucky to escape after a fire broke out in a house in Wolverton early this morning.

Two crews from Great Holm Fire Station were called to an end-of-terrace property in Church Street shortly before 6am.

The fire, which was caused by a coat left on top of a storage heater in the living room, spread to a sofa.

Crew Manager Chris Bamford, who was in charge of the incident, said: "There were no smoke alarms in the house, so it was by sheer luck that the man woke up and managed to get them all out.

"It is essential to have working smoke alarms in your home. In many cases -particularly if a fire breaks out in the night - they provide the only warning the occupants will receive."

Firefighters carried out a safety check after clearing away the smoke, and fitted three smoke alarms.

Chris urged anyone who does not have smoke alarms, or who has not recently checked that their smoke alarms work, to act now. His advice is:

  • Make sure there is at least one smoke alarm on every level of your home. Fit them on landing and hallway ceilings, at least 30 centimetres (12 inches) away from any wall or light fitting, and in rooms which have an electrical appliance.
  • Test your smoke alarms by pushing the button at least once a month. Why not circle the first of every month on your new calendar and tick it off when you’ve tested your alarms? If you prefer to test them every week, choose a regular day and time.
  • If your battery-operated smoke alarms are 10 or more years old, it’s time to get new ones.
  • Work out what your best escape routes would be in the event of a fire, and make sure everyone in your home knows them.
  • Carry out a bedtime check every night to reduce the risk of a fire starting while you're asleep.
  • Call in on your less able friends, relatives and neighbours from time to time to make sure their smoke alarms are working.
  • For more detailed advice, read the handy Fire Safety in the Home booklet produced by the national Fire Kills campaign.

Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service offers free safety checks to people in Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes to identify potential fire risks in their homes and help them minimise them. The checks include free smoke alarms and free installation. Ring 01296 744477 or email cs@bucksfire.gov.uk.