Smoke alarm warning in wake of fire deaths

PUBLISHED: 11:39 13 May 2009 | UPDATED: 09:08 18 June 2010

AFTER two men died in separate incidents following accidental fires in their homes, Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service is urging people to have smoke alarms fitted.

AFTER two men died in separate incidents following accidental fires in their homes, Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service is urging people to have smoke alarms fitted.

A man of 60, and another aged 76, died in their bungalow homes within a week of each other.

Investigations show neither had smoke alarms, or operational ones, fitted.

Paul Slaven, fire service press officer, said: "A smoke alarm is the simplest single step you can take to reduce the risk of dying from fire in your home. But if they are not working, they are useless, so it is important they are fitted properly and checked regularly."

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service advises you to:

* fit smoke alarms on the ceiling at each level in your home, in hallways and landings

* keep them free from dust and test them once a week

* consider buying a 10-year alarm; otherwise, change the batteries in your alarms every year.

Halls and doorways used to escape in the event of fire should be kept clear. Both men who died had large amounts of hoarded material in their homes.

Anyone concerned a family member, friend or neighbour may be at risk from a home fire, can ask for firefighters to carry out a home safety visit.

This may involve fitting a free smoke alarm or providing fire safety advice.

For a free home safety visit, or to refer someone you are concerned about, call (0800) 73 11 822.


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