Smoke alarms save Rhos couple from fire

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A Senior Fire Safety Officer has said that working smoke alarms helped save the lives of an elderly Rhos couple following an electric blanket fire in their home last night.

 

Firefighters fromJohnstown, Wrexham and Chirk were called to the property onPrinces Road, Rhosllanerchrugog at 20.27hrs last night, October 31.

 

Crews used four sets of breathing apparatus and one hose reel to extinguish the fire located in the bedroom of the property. The fire caused fire damage to the bed and mattress and smoke damage to the bedroom and the remainder of the first floor.

 

The fire is thought to have been caused by an electrical short circuit in the electric blanket.

 

Andy Robb, North Wales Fire and Rescue Service's Partnerships Manager for Wrexham and Flintshire attended the incident. He said: "Undoubtedly we could have been dealing with another tragedy here inNorth Waleshad the property not been fitted with working smoke alarms.

 

"The male occupier was upstairs in bed and his wife had returned downstairs after switching on the electric blanket in another room. Within ten minutes, a fire had broken out and the smoke alarms were sounding. Had they not been alerted by the sound of the smoke alarm, the fire could have easily spread, trapping the man upstairs.

 

"Smoke alarms give you the vital early warning sign which allows you and your family to escape safely from a fire - this incident demonstrates just how important they are. The couple tested the alarms regularly by pressing the 'test' button to ensure that they were working.

 

"Electric blankets can help you keep warm during the cold nights, but fires caused by them can be devastating. If you do use one, it's important to have them tested regularly and replaced every few years. Try and keep a few fire safety issues in mind - never use hot water bottles in the same bed as an electric blanket, even if the blanket is switched off.Also, remember to unplug blankets before you get into bed, unless they have a thermostat control for safe all-night use. Finally, don't leave electric blankets folded as this damages the internal wiring.  Store them flat or rolled up instead.

 

"North Wales Fire and Rescue Service offer free home fire safety checks for all residents inNorth Wales.

 

"During a check, a member of the Service will come to your home, give fire safety hints and tips, help you to formulate a fire escape plan, and if necessary, fit new smoke alarms in your home.

 

"To register, please call 0800 169 1234, visit www.nwales-fireservice.org.uk or e-mail cfs@nwales-fireservice.org.uk. A member of the service will then contact you to arrange a convenient time to visit your home."

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