There is no doubt that since the Grenfell Tower fire tragedy occurred, the awareness of the importance of fire alarms and smoke detectors has grown in the public consciousness. However, while many more people are now investing in fire alarms for their homes since the tragedy, those who already have a fire safety system in place are still slipping into complacency.
While it is a good thing than more people are investing in fire alarms and fire safety equipment, it doesn’t mean that they will remain safe and secure from the risk of a fire outbreak forever.
Recently, another fire emergency made the headlines when a block of flats in Bramley, Leeds had to evacuate residents when a fire broke out. Residents were asking why they had heard no fire alarms sounding and many stated that they were only made aware of the fire by neighbours alerting them.
The fire broke out on the eighth floor of the Leeds City Housing-run Poplar Court flats. A man, woman and child had to be taken to hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation following the blaze that had broken out on Tuesday 27th March, 2018.
West Yorkshire Fire Service attended and quickly put out the blaze that was contained within one flat on the 8th floor. All residents were accounted for and luckily no-one was seriously injured as a result.
The fire had been extinguished before it could spread to other flats, but one resident living above the blaze on the ninth floor had a lucky escape when he woke to find flames licking his window and cracking the frames. The flat where the fire broke out has been left completely unlivable, but fortunately the other residents have now been allowed back to their undamaged flats. Local housing officers have assisted residents with emergency accommodation where their flats have suffered damage.
At the time of the fire emergency, many residents reported that they were awoke by the sirens of the emergency responders and had heard no fire alarms going off. According to a Leeds City Council spokesperson, each flat has a stand-alone alarm fitted to allow for fires to be contained in the most efficient and safest way possible. However, despite reassurances coming from the council that they have a fire safety mechanism and regular checks in place, it has left some residents very wary about their safety.
But it is not just tower block accommodation that seems to have issues over functioning fire alarms – many individual home owners and landlords are still being too complacent about their fire safety responsibilities. Having a fire alarm installed in your home or rented property does not guarantee that it will work should a fire break out.
Just like when you are running a car, you need to have regular checks and maintenance work carried out for it to continue to run efficiently. It is the same with your fire alarm system. When was the last time you had a full fire alarm inspection and test? Are you overdue a fire safety check?
Don’t put people’s lives and your property at risk of fire! Ensure you have an up-to-date fire risk assessment and the right fire protection in place to suit your needs.