London Fire Brigade

94 year old woman saved by Brigade-fitted alarm

13 November 2012

A 94 year old woman was saved from a fire when her specialist smoke alarm, fitted by the London Fire Brigade, vibrated and woke her up. The LFB, which had been to her home on Fentiman Way in Hornchurch just two weeks before the fire, fitted a vibrating smoke alarm, designed for the hard of hearing.

The alarm is a pad that goes underneath a pillow, and vibrates and flashes to wake people up in the event of a fire. The elderly lady woke up when the pad went off, and was able to escape the fire quickly. She was suffering from mild smoke inhalation and was taken to hospital as a precaution, but her injuries are not thought to be serious.

Chris Drew, Borough Commander for Havering, said:

“Our crews fitted the specialist alarm during a free home fire safety visit just two weeks before the fire. She was able to escape from her home very quickly and fortunately wasn’t seriously hurt. There’s not a doubt in my mind that the alarm saved her life.

“Our crews visit the homes of thousands of Londoners each year, offering fire safety advice and fitting free smoke alarms where needed. It’s fantastic when that hard work pays off, as it did in this case, where this woman’s life was saved.”

A cupboard near the front door was badly damaged by the fire, and the rest of the flat was damaged by heat and smoke. The fire is believed to have been caused by an electrical fault.

Three fire engines and around 15 firefighters from Hornchurch and Dagenham fire stations attended the call. The Brigade was called at 0321 on Friday 9 November, and the fire was under control at 0411.

The London Fire Brigade offers Londoners free home fire safety visits, where firefighters visit your home offering advice on how to prevent fires and fitting free smoke alarms where needed. You can book a free home fire safety visit on the Brigade’s website.