Don’t let your Christmas plans go up in smoke

Concerned firefighters have warned communities across Tyne and Wear that their lives could be at risk – after revealing 25 per cent of homes they visit don’t have a working smoke alarm.

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) have urged residents to contact them so they can come to their homes and fit a smoke alarm free of charge.

The warning comes as we enter the Christmas period and more people take to the kitchen to cook up a festive feast for their family and friends.

TWFRS have revealed 56 percent of accidental fires in 2021 started in the kitchen, there were a total of 36 kitchen fires in December last year.

It underlines the importance of having a working smoke alarm and why it is so concerning that one in four homes could be putting their lives at risk by not having one.

There is also concern that many of the homes that do have smoke alarms have them fitted in areas that don’t keep you safe in an emergency.

Today (Thursday), the Prevention lead at TWFRS called on communities to test their smoke alarms this Christmas, or take advantage of their offer to install one for free.

Area Manager Richie Rickaby said “Most people will know that TWFRS fit smoke and heat detectors for free, you just have to contact us on our website and a member of the team will be round to educate you how to make sure your home is safe this Christmas.

“Smoke alarms are our first line of defence when it comes to fires and it’s shocking to know that 25 per cent of households in the region don’t have them.

“By not having one in your home, the lives of you and your family could be at risk. If a fire starts while you’re asleep then, by the time you realise what is happening, it could be too late.

“We are here to create the safest community we can but we can’t do that without your help, so get in touch and get yourself an early Christmas present by having a smoke alarm fitted.”

If you’re worried about your smoke alarm not working or where it’s placed, get in touch with TWFRS and get your smoke alarm fitted to make sure you are safe this Christmas.

You can request a Safe and Well Check, which includes the fitting of free smoke alarms and advice to protect your home from fire by calling TWFRS on their freephone number 0800 032 7777 or fill in the online form.