Guest column: Smoke alarms save lives

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On a daily basis Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service deals with numerous incidents across the county – ranging from accidental house fires to deliberately set grass fires.

These fires can be incredibly dangerous and destructive – however they can be prevented.

Recently we dealt with a serious house fire on George Street in Mansfield. When there is a serious house fire in an area – particularly in such a close knit community like this – people are naturally going to be concerned.

As a service we want to help people understand how they can reduce the risk of fires in their own homes and for this reason, after this incident members of our community safety teams undertook a day of action in the area.

During the day our team spoke to local residents and offered a variety of fire safety advice. One thing that residents were reminded of is that all homes should be fitted with working smoke alarms that are tested regularly – and this is something that cannot be emphasised enough.

Our figures show a decrease in the number of house fires in Mansfield over the last year; but we are aware that not everybody has a working smoke alarm in their home.

Smoke alarms save lives, and we want every home in the area and indeed the county to have them. However, maintaining your alarms regularly isn’t the only thing you can and should do to keep your family safe from fire.

Ensuring you are well educated on what to do in case of fire is also important and making sure everybody – especially children – in the home knows what to do in a fire situation can be vital in helping keep you and your family safe.

Family and household fire escape plans can also be made fun to do.

As mentioned earlier, as well as having accidental house fires, road traffic collisions and a variety of other incidents to deal with on a daily basis, our crews are often called to deliberately set grass, rubbish and skip fires.

We have recently had a series of these types of fires in the Warsop area and we are working closely with Nottinghamshire Police to find the culprits and crack down on these types of fires.

Deliberately starting fires is arson, and these incidents are an unnecessary drain on our resources. Setting fires on purpose can have potentially fatal consequences as crews can often be tied up at grass fires when they are needed at more serious incidents.

If people do see somebody acting suspiciously or lighting a fire, please report it to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or to the fire service when reporting the fire.