London Fire Brigade

Brigade's Marathon efforts for fire safety

14 April 2011

Brigade's Marathon runners, with London Fire Commissioner, Ron DobsonEncouraging people to get a working smoke alarm was the aim of the day for London Fire Brigade’s fifty runners at this year’s London Marathon, which took place on Sunday 17 April. The runners, including over 40 firefighters, wore vests bearing the slogan ‘Get a Working Smoke Alarm’ to highlight just how important these life saving devices are.

The Brigade’s latest figures show that over half the people who die in fires don’t have a working smoke alarm and the Brigade hoped it was able to raise awareness of the importance of the alarms during the race. London Fire Commissioner, Ron Dobson, said: “If this vital fire safety information helps to save the life of one person, I’m sure our runners will agree all the hard work will be more than worth it.”

As well as getting a message across the runners also raised thousands of pounds for a range of charities. Over forty of our runners were operational, four of whom ran in uniform, including helmets. One of them was Northolt’s Station Manager, Turan Turan, who said: “It was really warm but at least my helmet kept the sun off my head! I’m also thrilled to have raised £400 for the British Heart Foundation. And in case you’re wondering, yes, I would run the Marathon again in my fire gear!”

A team of hardworking Brigade volunteers staffed a water station at Poplar at the 20 mile stage of the race. They provided support for the runners and gave out thousands of bottles of water throughout the day. Runners were also entertained by Watch Manager Stephen-remell Coleman, who rapped, sang and cheered his support to the runners. Local firefighters from Poplar joined volunteers at the water station and provided a much needed spray of water from their hose to the hot Marathon participants! They also spoke to people about fire safety and got some referrals for home fire safety visits.

More information about some of our runners can be found on our Facebook page –


Notes to editors

Information and photographs of some of the Brigade's Marathon runners can be found on the Brigade's Facebook page.

For further information or photos of individual runners, contact the Brigade’s press office on 020 8536 5922.

Stephen-remell Coleman performed at the Brigade’s water station at Poplar. You can view Got Mine Got Yours on YouTube.

Smoke alarm case study: Family of eight saved by smoke alarm

Four fire engines and around 20 firefighters were called to a house fire on The Drive in South Woodford, E18 on 12th April. The fire damaged part of the ground floor of the large detached house and there was extensive smoke damage throughout the whole house.
There were eight people in the house at the time of the fire. The Brigade’s control centre staff gave fire survival advice to some of the members of the family over the phone before the firefighters arrived to rescue them.

Paul McClenaghan, Station Manager at Dagenham Fire Station, who was at the scene, said: “The fire was in a large family home. Three people managed to get out before we arrived at the scene and we rescued a further five people from the first and second floors using ladders. Our crews did a fantastic job, not only in preventing the fire from spreading from the ground floor, but also in saving five members of this family.”

Local firefighters had fitted a smoke alarm at the house two months ago and it was the alarm that alerted the family to the fire. Paul McClenaghan went on to say: “This family was undoubtedly saved by their smoke alarm – a young lad heard the alarm and alerted the rest of his family to the fire. We could have been faced with a tragedy on a huge scale were it not for the fact that the alarm went off and enabled the family to quickly call out the Brigade. I can’t stress enough just how vital it is to have working smoke alarms in your home.”

The Brigade was called at 0728 and the fire was under control by 0946.

Firefighters from Woodford, Leytonstone and Leyton fire stations were at the scene. The Brigade’s fire investigators are now investigating the cause of the blaze.