Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service (MFRS) is urging people to make fire safety a priority this following the tragic death of an elderly woman in a fire in Maghull last week.
The fire occurred in a bungalow on Towers Road on Monday 31st January. Crews were alerted at 5.18am and on scene at 5.26am. Three fire engines attended.
On arrival crews found smoke issuing from the building. 4 firefighters wearing breathing apparatus entered the building and began fighting the fire with hose reel jets while searching for occupants. As firefighters searched the bungalow they discovered a casualty, unconscious and not breathing.
Firefighters immediately provided emergency first aid, but despite their best efforts, sadly were unable to save the woman.
North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) and Merseyside Police were also in attendance at the incident.
An investigation indicated the fire was accidental and caused by an electrical fault.
Firefighters and prevention staff from MFRS visited residents surrounding Towers Road this week to reassure them, offering vital fire safety advice and carrying out home fire safety checks.
Ged Sheridan, Area Manager for Prevention at MFRS, said: “This is an extremely tragic incident that has resulted in the death of a 92 year old woman. Our thoughts are with her friends, family and community at this difficult time. An investigation into this tragic incident indicate that the fire was caused by an electrical fault.
“In the event of a fire, don’t attempt to tackle the fire yourself – get out, get us out and stay out. Always dial 999. If you have elderly or vulnerable neighbours or relatives, check in on them to make sure they are safe and know what to do should they have a fire.
AM Sheridan added: “The most important thing that anyone can do to keep themselves safe from fire is to have working smoke alarms and we would urge everyone to take time out of their day to check theirs are working.
“If you hear a smoke alarm sounding, please don’t ignore it – even if it isn’t yours. If you hear a smoke alarm go off in a neighbour’s property, check it out and call 999 immediately if you suspect a fire. Those vital few seconds could help save a life. Don’t try to enter the property yourself if you think there is a fire – call 999.”
Follow these tips to say safe from fire:
- Smoke alarms – smoke alarms save lives but only if they’re working and in the right place. You should have at least one working smoke alarm on every level of your home. Consider installing additional alarms in rooms with electrical appliances or sleeping areas. Don't put alarms in or near kitchens and bathrooms where smoke or steam could set them off accidentally. NEVER take the batteries out of your smoke alarm to put into another electrical device.
- Heaters – keep heaters well away from clothes, curtains, furniture and other flammable materials. NEVER use heaters to dry clothes. ALWAYS switch off and unplug your heaters before going to bed.
- Smoking – Please try not to smoke. Smoking is bad for your health and causes more death from accidental fires than any other cause. If you must smoke, use a proper ashtray and make sure it is placed on a level surface away from combustible materials. Make sure your cigarettes are fully extinguished. Never smoke in bed – you could easily fall asleep while your cigarette is still burning and cause a fire.
- Candles – keep candles and tea lights away from anything that can catch fire. NEVER leave lit candles unattended – make sure they are fully extinguished before leaving the room or going to bed. Consider using LED battery-operated candles instead.
- Cooking – make it a priority to keep cooking areas clear & clean from combustible materials. Make sure your oven and grill are clean – a build-up of fat or grease can cause a fire. DON’T leave pans unattended while cooking and NEVER leave children or pets unattended in the kitchen.
- Electrical items – check your electrical appliances are in good working order. If the wires are damaged or frayed, do no not use them. Avoid charging items like mobile phones, laptops or tablets overnight and only use the chargers that came with the device. Don’t overload your plug sockets.
- Escape routes – make sure everyone in your household knows how to get out in the event of a fire. Ensure your escape routes are clear from any clutter. Keep your external door and window keys in a known and accessible place and close internal doors.
Look after elderly and more vulnerable relatives and neighbours. Check they are well, have working smoke alarms and know what to do in the event of a fire.
- IN AN EMERGENCY, CALL 999 IMMEDIATELY. In the event of a fire, get out, stay out and call 999.
For fire safety advice, or if you do not have working smoke alarms in your home, please call 0800 731 5958.