Plea to take fire safety seriously after inquest of Conwy fire victimPosted
The importance of a working smoke alarm and a practised escape plan are being highlighted by fire officers today following an inquest into the tragic flat fire earlier this year which claimed the life of a Conwy woman.
Sarah Green, 31, died in hospital after sustaining serious injuries in a fire at a flat on Berry Streeton Friday 15th February 2013. A man was also treated for smoke inhalation in hospital following the fire.
Firefighters from Conwy and Llandudno who were called to the first floor flat at 17.18hrs and rescued Sarah after the alarm was raised by the owner of a nearby commercial premises who witnessed smoke and flames emanating from the flat. She was transferred to intensive care but died in hospital the following morning.
Terry Williamsfrom North Wales Fire and Rescue Service said: "Firstly, I would like to pass on my condolences and deepest sympathy to the friends and family involved in this tragic incident.
"Today's inquest has revealed that there are some simple steps that everyone can take to protect against fire in the home.
"You are twice as likely to die in a fire at home if you do not have a working smoke alarm. When a fire starts, you only have a few minutes to escape. A working smoke alarm can buy you valuable time to get out, stay out and dial 999. You can get a basic smoke alarm for the same price as a packet of cigarettes. Better still are those smoke alarms with long-life batteries or are mains-powered.
"Having a practised escape plan in the event of fire will help improve your chances of survival should the worst happen. And never wedge open fire doors - all doors are best kept shut to minimise the spread of smoke in your home and protect your route out of the building should a fire occur.
"As well as putting your health at risk, smoking can also put you and your family in danger of being injured or even killed by a fire at your home.
"Statistics show that smokers are thirty five percent more likely to have a house fire than non smokers. This is significantly increased when alcohol is involved.
"By following some simple precautions, smokers who do not yet feel ready to give up their cigarettes can help prevent a fire in their home:
- Take extra care when you're tired, taking any sort of drugs or have been drinking alcohol. It's very easy to fall asleep without while your cigarette is still burning
- Never smoke in bed - if you need to lie down, don't light up. You could doze off and set your bed on fire
- Never leave lit cigarettes, cigars or pipes unattended - they can easily overbalance as they burn down
- Buy child-resistant lighters and matchboxes - every year children die by starting fires with matches and lighters. Keep these where children can't reach them
- Use a proper, heavy ashtray that can't tip over easily and is made of a material that won't burn. Make sure your cigarette is not still burning when you are finished - put it out, right out
- Tap your ash into an ashtray, never a wastebasket containing other rubbish - and don't let the ash or cigarette ends build up in the ashtray
For more advice on fire safety and for the opportunity to have free smoke alarms fitted in your home, please contact North Wales Fire and Rescue Service for a free home fire safety check. To register, please call our free 24 hour hotline on 0800 169 1234 or visit www.nwales-fireservice.org.uk or text 88365, ensuring you prefix your message with the word HFSC.