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Fire Service stress importance of smoke alarms

19 October 2010

The Fire and Rescue Service are urging people to check their smoke alarms after being called to a serious fire last night.

1 fire engine and a crew of 5 firefighters were called to an address in Val Plaisant after a report that smoke was coming out of a bathroom extractor fan and flames could be seen inside.

By the time the Fire Service arrived, the building was full of thick smoke and was evacuated.

The firefighters checked the loft space of the building and found a well developed fire that had reached the roof joists. 4 firefighters fought the fire from inside the building, whilst the high-reach platform vehicle was used on the outside of the roof.

At the height of operations 15 firefighters and 4 fire engines were on the scene.

Station Manager Richard Liron said: “This was a challenging fire. White Watch did well to save the rest of the roof. It's very fortunate that this fire was discovered when it was - if it had remained hidden for any longer the occupants might well have been asleep in their beds”.

He added: “A smoke detector was fitted in the flat, but it was faulty and so would not have raised the alarm. It's so important that these alarms are tested regularly.

“I can't stress enough how important it is to make sure your smoke alarms work - a test once a week is recommended. It’s a good idea to associate the test with another routine task like vacuuming - you could get into the habit of testing the alarm each time you vacuum the room.

“For extra piece of mind a detector in the loft is not a bad idea. Obviously you will not be able to check it as frequently as your other detectors but it will provide you with an even faster warning. I feel this idea is especially useful for houses which have a lot of flush-fitted downlights in the ceilings.”

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