Reassurance campaign after tragic Litherland house fire

Fire crews from Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service (MFRS) will be visiting homes in Litherland to provide reassurance and advice to residents on New Year’s Eve after a tragic fatality in a house fire on Church Road.

The fire occurred in the afternoon of Boxing Day, and despite an extremely fast response time of only 5 minutes, one person tragically lost their life in the fire. An initial investigation has revealed that the suspected cause of the fire was smoker’s materials.

Firefighters will now go out into the community around Church Road to reassure residents, provide fire safety advice, home fire safety checks, and install smoke alarms where required.

Mark Thomas, Group Manager for Prevention at MFRS, said: “This is a terrible tragedy which should never happen and we would urge communities across Merseyside to ensure that smoke alarms are installed and are tested regularly.

If there is a fire, get out, get us out and stay out. Don’t try to tackle the fire yourself, close the door of the room where the fire is if possible, get to a safe place and dial 999. If you have elderly or vulnerable neighbours or relatives, check on them to ensure their safety. If you hear a smoke alarm sounding in a neighbour’s home or simply walking past a house, dial 999 and ask for the fire & rescue service- we would much sooner go to a false alarm than a potentially serious fire.

Finally, please be extremely careful with smoker’s materials, smoke outside if possible and consider stopping smoking altogether- it will reduce the risk of fire for everyone in your home.”

Safety tips if you smoke

• Never smoke in bed - it's very easy to fall asleep and allow your cigarette to set light to your bedclothes or furnishings.

• Don’t smoke if you’re drowsy - especially if you're sitting in a comfortable chair or if you've been drinking or taking prescription drugs; again, it’s easy to fall asleep.

• Don’t leave a lit cigarette (or cigar or pipe) – they can easily overbalance and land on the carpet or other flammable material. Make sure your ashtray is heavy and can’t tip over easily.

• Make totally sure that your cigarette butts (and any remains in your pipe bowl) aren’t still smouldering when you’ve finished with them. Wet them and empty your ashtray into a metal bin outside the house.

• Make sure matches are fully extinguished before leaving them in an ashtray.