Fire service helps with alarms

FIRES can happen to anyone at anytime which is why safety checks around the home are so important, fire safety officers claimed today.

FIRES can happen to anyone at anytime which is why safety checks around the home are so important, fire safety officers claimed today.

Officers from Suffolk Fire and Rescue make several home visits a day to protect older and more vulnerable people from fires in their properties. Their job is to identify areas of risk in the home, from block adapters to poorly positioned smoke detectors.

Advice can be given about smoke alarm testing and maintenance, escape plans, kitchen and electrical safety. They also carry out a lot of educational work by talking to schoolchildren and community groups.

Jeannette Harman recently received a visit from community fire safety officers Colin Provins and Sarah Pemberton in her Gainsborough home.

The officers always give specific advice for homeowners depending on their needs so as Mrs Harman is slightly deaf when she sleeps on one side, they recommended a sentry alarm. This is connected up to one of the main alarms in the house so that when it is triggered, there is a flashing light and a vibrating device which can be kept underneath the occupant's bed to wake them up.

Mr Provins said: “No two homes are the same. One house could have a smoke alarm with no batteries and another one could have no smoke alarms.

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“I have gone home at night and haven't been able to sleep.”

Mrs Harman said: “I heard that a 75-year-old woman's life was saved by a smoke alarm so I decided to test mine and it didn't work. I told my daughter and she rang the fire safety team.

“The visit really opened my eyes. I have always been scared of fire so this has made me feel safer, particularly the one you can put under the bed. It is certainly a comfort.”

If you want to receive free home safety advice, contact the community fire safety department on 01473 260586.

Has your life been saved by a smoke alarm? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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