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Overloaded Wood Burner Smokes Out Property Near Wareham


12:15pm 17th May 2012
(Updated 12:43pm 17th May 2012)

Wood burners are the latest household danger to be highlighted by Dorset Fire and Rescue.

It comes after a man had to be "led to safety" when the lounge of his house was severley damaged by heat and smoke.

Firefighters were called to the property at West Street in Kingston near Swanage at 11pm last night.

The fire had been caused by the wood burner being overloaded - and there were no smoke alarms in the house. Members of the fire crew fitted two alarms before they left.

This incident comes only the day before a new campaign is launched by Dorset Fire and Rescue about the biggest reason why smoke alarms don't sound in a fire. According to stsatistics, it's because the smoke didn't reach the alarm. The rescue service and the Fire Kills campaign are encouraging people in Dorset to re-think the number of smoke alarms they have in their home - and where they are fitted.  

With 86% of the country owning a smoke alarm, it's clear that we all know that a working smoke alarm can provide those vital few seconds to enable you to escape a fire in the home. But last year more than 3,000 fires in the home didn't activate the smoke alarm because the fire was outside its range.  

That's why DFRS are asking people to think about where their smoke alarm is placed  - and whether they need another in their home to ensure they have the time to get out, stay out and call 999.

Head of Prevention, Linzi Holt said: "The vast majority of us now have at least one smoke alarm in our home, however, early detection and warning is vital to seriously reduce the devastation a fire can cause. That's why it's so important that our smoke alarms are placed to have the best chance of alerting us to a fire."

 "You should make sure you have at least one smoke alarm on every level of your home, preferably in hallways and landings.  And placing smoke detectors in rooms where there are electrical appliances could give you the extra warning you need.

"It's also important to remember that smoke alarms don't last forever. The power might work, but the detection mechanism deteriorates with time. So whether they are battery operated or wired to the mains, to work at their best they should be replaced every ten years."

Dorset Fire and Rescue Service offers these five smoke alarm top tips:

  •     Install a smoke alarm on every level of your home.
  •     The ideal position is on the ceiling, in the middle of a room or on a hallway or landing.
  •     Consider fitting alarms in other rooms where there are electrical appliances.
  •     Don't put alarms in or near kitchens and bathrooms where smoke or steam can set them off by accident.
  •     Replace your smoke alarms every ten years.

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