Smoke alarm danger

THE occupants of 47 homes in North Somerset risked their lives in the last year – by not having a functioning smoke alarm.

Figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 show that out of 109 fires at homes in the district, 39 per cent of them were not fitted with an alarm, while six were fitted with faulty ones.

Between January 2010 and February 2011 seven people were treated for serious injuries after fires in homes without alarms, one with a faulty alarm and one where the battery was missing.

Stephanie Mounsey, a spokesman for the service, said: “Working smoke alarms save lives, providing an early warning sign that a fire has broken out and giving families the chance to escape, especially at night.

“Just two or three breaths of toxic smoke is enough to render a person unconscious, so the earlier you are alerted to a fire in your home the better.

“We also advise residents to check the battery in their smoke alarm is working on a weekly basis. If you know you need new batteries in your smoke alarm, don’t put it off. A smoke alarm can only protect you if it’s working so it is really important to check it on a regular basis.”