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Brigade warns about bedroom fires

26 March 2019

SMOKE ALARMS should be fitted in bedrooms as new figures show that bedroom blazes are at the highest level for five years. The research, released in National Bed Month, shows that there were 12 bedroom fires a week in London.

The new figures also reveal that nearly half of all bedroom fires last year were caused by smoking or candles. A quarter (24.6 per cent) of all bedroom fires in 2018 were caused by matches or candles and a fifth (20.7 percent) by smoking. Electrical equipment was also a common cause.     

London Fire Brigade assistant commissioner Dan Daly said, “Homes need multiple smoke alarms or you won’t be properly covered. Ideal spots for smoke alarms include rooms where you leave electrical equipment running like satellite boxes, computers or heaters; any room where you smoke, and anywhere you charge your mobile or laptop.

"As a minimum you should have smoke alarms on every floor - in the hallways and in the rooms you use the most, plus a heat alarm in the kitchen.

“There are a number of other things you can do to keep your home and bedroom as safe from fire as possible, including never leaving candles unattended and never smoke in bed.”

The figures also show in London last year:

  • 626 fires started in bedrooms.
  • 16 people died as a result of fires that started in bedrooms and 196 people were injured.

Smoke and fire alarm must-knows

  • Don't just fit a smoke alarm in your hall and landing – also fit them in any room where a fire can start. For example, any room where you smoke or leave appliances plugged in.

  • Keeping internal doors closed will help to prevent the spread of smoke and fire.
  • Some battery or mains alarms can be interlinked, so that when one alarm detects a fire they all go off together, giving you warning wherever you are in your home. This is particularly important where a person has any issues that may prevent or delay their escape to ensure they are alerted to a fire as soon as possible.
  • If you choose to have a mains-powered alarm, make sure it's installed by a qualified electrician.
  • The Brigade offers free home fire safety visits where firefighters visit people at home to provide fire safety advice, will fit free smoke alarms where needed and other fire safety interventions such as fire retardant bedding.