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By Eloise Evans on 15/08/2016
What would you say the essentials are in your home? You need a cooker and a fridge, working toilet obviously, a television and a sofa (well duh), a shower and a sink… anything else? No? Well, there is one thing that is even more essential than your fridge or television – your smoke alarm! Smoke alarms are the main reason why so many people survive house fires and their homes are saved with minimal damage done. They are the reason so many people are alive. What happens when the oven is left on by accident before you go to bed and there is a fire and no smoke alarm? You get no early warning and by the time you wake up – if you wake up – it could be too late. A majority of people who die in house fires die from smoke inhalation and not the fire itself, meaning you could be dead before you even wake up from the heat. Smoke alarms save lives! Don’t believe us? Well here are some real life stories of people who owe their lives to their smoke alarm.
A family of four were saved by an early warning from their smoke alarm in Stoke-on-Trent early one morning. After a portable heater set fire to some bedding, which then caused heat and fire damage to the surrounding floor and wall. The mother and three children, 11 year old girl and 18 month old twins were able to exit the house and call 999 quickly which allowed them to stay safe and keep the damage to a minimum. This was all done early with the help of their smoke alarm. Stoke-on-Trent’s Assistant Area Commander, Stan Cooper, commented: “This incident serves as a reminder of how important it is to have working smoke alarms.”
Another family, this time from Warwick, had help from a smoke alarm one morning, when their electric oven caught fire. The oven was accidentally turned on and a plastic kettle was left on top of the hob. If the smoke alarm hadn’t of given them an early warning, there would have been devastating consequences. As it is, the mother and daughter managed to evacuate their home and call 999 early enough that there was only smoke damage in the kitchen area. The Community Fire Prevention and Arson Manager for Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service said: “This is a real example of working smoke alarms saving lives.” The Portfolio Holder for Community Safety Councillor also said: “Incidents like this really do highlight that lives are saved and damage to property is reduced by smoke alarms giving residents the early warning they need.”
These are just two examples of how smoke alarms are one of the most essential things you need in your home to keep you safe. You can have your television, and your toilet and cooker, but if it all went up in flames, would they seem that essential then?
Photo Source: Freepik