Fire figures are alarming

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RESIDENTS are being urged to have smoke alarms fitted in their homes after new figures revealed only half of the fire victims in Hartlepool last year had the devices installed.

The call comes from Dave Turton, Hartlepool district manager with Cleveland Fire Brigade, following the release of figures for 2011/12 period.

As part of the Brigade’s ongoing efforts to reduce house fires, firefighters provide a free Home Fire Safety Visit and will provide and fit smoke alarms if needed.

Mr Turton said: “We have fitted thousands of smoke alarms as part of our free Home Fire Safety Visit scheme, but clearly there are still properties without smoke alarms which is a concern.

“A working smoke alarm can buy occupants within the home vital time to escape in the event of a fire and can make the difference between life and death.

“The number of accidental house fires in Hartlepool last year was very low with just 19, but of these nine homes did not have a working smoke alarm. It is not only important to have smoke alarms fitted but you need to test them regularly as only working smoke alarms save lives.”

Fire crews have made repeated calls for homeowners to have the alrms fitted, and those who already have them in their homes are often reminded to check they are working.

Home safety visits take around 15 minutes.

Mr Turton added: “When we visit residents in their home, not only do we fit smoke alarms but we carry out an assessment and provide specific fire safety advice. The advice will include measures to prevent a fire in the first place and planning an escape route should a fire occur.”

To arrange a home visit, call (01429) 874063 to book an appointment. For further safety information visit www.cleveland.gov.uk

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