A 15 minute safety visit saves family from possible tragedy

A family safely escaped a fire in their home after following safety advice they had learnt during a Home Fire Safety Visit by Cleveland Fire Brigade.  

Mother of one, Charlotte Tumilty was visited last year by firefighters who carried out a free Home Fire Safety Visit in her home in Duncan Road, Hartlepool. During the 15 minute check, they ensured working smoke alarms were fitted in the correct positions, gave safety advice tailored to her home and helped make an escape plan in the event of a fire. 

So when her smoke alarms started sounding late at night earlier this month (April), her thoughts spun back to the visit and she followed the advice she had been given. 

She said: “When the alarm started going off I was in my front room with my 16 month old child, my brother and a friend. I got up and checked the back of the door with my hand to make sure it wasn’t hot then opened it. As soon as I opened it I could smell smoke so I shut the door, got everyone out and dialled 999. 

She continued saying, “Thanks to having the Home Fire Safety Visit last year, I knew exactly what to do and because of the smoke alarms in the house alerting me to the fire, we all got out safely and the fire was quickly extinguished.” 

Ian Brown, Green Watch Manager at Stranton Station, who attended the incident said: “When we arrived at the location, everyone was safely out of the house. We found the fire in a tumble dryer located in the kitchen which luckily hadn’t spread thanks to the residents’ quick reactions; then we extinguished it. The fire had started due to an electrical fault with the tumble dryer.” 

Phil Lancaster, Director of Community Protection said: “This incident just goes to show the importance of having working smoke alarms and knowing what to do in the event of a fire. The outcome could have been tragic if Charlotte had not acted on the advice she was given at the Home Fire Safety Visit.

“I would urge anyone who hasn’t had a Home Fire Safety Visit to contact us to arrange one at their convenience; it might just save their lives too.”

Cleveland Fire Brigade offers residents a free Home Fire Safety Visit, where firefighters will come to your home and give valuable safety advice and help make an escape plan which will be tailored to you and your family’s needs. Free smoke alarms will be supplied and fitted if needed. Call us on 01429 874063 to arrange a visit at your convenience.

You can also visit our website at www.clevelandfire.gov.uk to view more safety advice as well as our news and details of events happening throughout the Brigade. You can also follow us on Facebook or Twitter.