A Senior Fire Safety Officer is highlighting the dangers of carelessly discarded smoking materials and emphasising the importance of smoke alarms following a fire in Holyhead in the early hours of this morning.
A family of seven escaped from their home on London Road, Holyhead after a smoke alarm alerted them to a fire which is thought to have been started by a carelessly discarded cigarette.
At 02:45am North Wales Fire and Rescue Service received a report of a fire at the terraced property and crews arrived at the scene to find the family – two adults and five young children, had escaped the property.
The occupants were taken to Ysbyty Gwynedd in Bangor by ambulance to be checked over, and they remain in hospital at present.
The fire is believed to have started outside the back of the property, then spread to the house via the back door. Fire damage was caused to the door and smoke damage has been caused throughout the property.
Simon Bromley, Community Safety Manager, attended the incident. He said:
“As this family have experienced, a working smoke alarm can buy you valuable time to get out, stay out and dial 999.
"The cause of the fire is thought to be a carelessly discarded cigarette which ignited stored items outside the property - it is vital to make sure all smoking materials are put out safely, especially before bed time. Please also take some time to think what effect a fire starting in items stored outside and against your house may have on your ability to escape from your home in the event of an emergency.
"If you have elderly relatives or friends who are smokers, make them aware of the possible dangers - by following the steps below they can help cut the risk of a smoking related fire in the home.”
- Use a proper, heavy ashtray that can't tip over easily and is made of a material that won't burn. Make sure your cigarette is not still burning when you are finished - put it out, right out.
- Take extra care when you're tired, taking any sort of drugs or have been drinking alcohol. It's very easy to fall asleep without while your cigarette is still burning
- Never smoke in bed - if you need to lie down, don't light up. You could doze off and set your bed on fire.
- Never leave lit cigarettes, cigars or pipes unattended - they can easily overbalance as they burn down.
- Buy child-resistant lighters and matchboxes - every year children die by starting fires with matches and lighters. Keep these where children can't reach them.
- Tap your ash into an ashtray, never a wastebasket containing other rubbish - and don't let the ash or cigarette ends build up in the ashtray.
Simon added: “We offer free safe and well checks for all residents – a member of the Service will give fire safety hints and tips, help you to formulate a fire escape plan and provide new alarms - all free of charge.
“To register for a free home fire safety check, please call the 24 hour free hotline on 0800 169 1234.”