Would you ignore a smoke alarm?

We are being urged not to ignore smoke alarms that go off next door.

The warning comes from Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service, who say we should not assume it is a false alarm.  

It comes after a 26-year-old Gloucester man was rescued from his home when his neighbour heard his smoke alarm going off in the early hours of the morning.

He call fire crews who forced the door, finding the man asleep on the sofa in the lounge. He was difficult to wake and was suffering from smoke inhalation.

The man was taken out into the fresh air, where he was treated by the Service. He was then taken to hospital and later released.

The firefighters discovered that the smoke was coming from the kitchen, where the microwave oven had caught fire.  The microwave was removed from the flat and cooled with water.

Chief Fire Officer and Group Director of Community Safety, Chris Griffin, says:

“Thanks to the prompt action of this man’s neighbour, we were able to get to him out quickly, and get him to safety. We were also able to deal with the fire before it became a much more serious incident.

“This example shows the importance of being a good neighbour, particularly if you have elderly and vulnerable people living nearby. If you hear a smoke alarm going off, check your neighbours are okay and if you are still worried, call the emergency services. Your actions could make all the difference.”

Heart's Kate Justice spoke to Assistant Chief Fire Officer for Gloucestershire Geoff Sallis about the importance of reporting suspected fires and responding to alarms.  Click here to listen to the interview.

Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue say smoke alarms should be fitted on every level of your home in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions provided.

Get it, install it, check it and change the batteries regularly - never remove the battery to use it for other purposes.

If you know of a vulnerable person who doesn’t have a working smoke alarm, Gloucestershire Fire & Rescue Service has a supply of alarms that can be supplied and fitted for free just by ringing 0800 180 41 40. Please remember you must get the permission of the person you are nominating.