Chelmsford: No working smoke alarms in home where fire claimed a life


- Credit: Archant

A fire in Chelmsford yesterday evening has claimed the life of a man.

The blaze in Kings Road was the third in just eight weeks in which smoke alarms were present in the home but were not working.

A fire engine from Chelmsford and one from Baddow attended the scene.

On arrival firefighters found evidence of a small fire which was already out.

Divisional Officer Neil Fenwick said: “There were smoke alarms in the home, but they were not working.

“Incidents like this show how important it is to not only fit smoke alarms, but to check them regularly to make sure that they are working.

“A working smoke alarm could have been enough to save this man’s life. It would have given him and his neighbours a warning that something was wrong.

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“Although the fire was only small, it was the smoke it created which proved to be deadly. This is the case with all fires; it only takes a few breaths of toxic smoke to kill.

“That is why smoke alarms are so important. They give vital early warning at the first sign of smoke giving everyone in the home time to get out safely before calling the fire service.”

Previously a woman lost her life in a fire at her home on May 25 and a man died in a fire in Stanley Road, Clacton, on June 6 after a fire broke out on his home.

In both cases smoke alarms had been fitted but did not work either because the batteries had run out or had been removed.

DO Fenwick said: “These three fires have all come in quick succession and illustrate how important it is to regularly test you smoke alarms.

“It takes less than a minute to test an alarm, if it doesn’t work then replace the batteries or the alarm straight away.

“Never take the batteries out of a smoke alarm under any circumstances.”

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service carry out home fire safety visits in which a trained technician will visit your home and carry out a full home fire safety check including fitting smoke alarms, completely free of charge.

To arrange a home fire safety visit call 0845 601 2495.

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