29 Jul 2010


Firefighters and paramedics will be out in force tonight (Thursday) when a three bedroom family home in Donnington is hit by fire.

A section of Park Road will be closed to vehicles between 5.45 and 8pm tonight, while actors recreate a family’s panic as they are trapped when fire breaks out in their home.

The three-bedroomed semi of an empty Wrekin Housing Trust property has been especially chose by firefighters and police to demonstrate how quickly smoke can fill a house once a fire begins.

And they deliberately chose to use the housing estate in Donnington – an area hit by a high number of property fires – to highlight that most people have a smoke alarm but only a small number test that they work properly.

Firefighters and ambulances will arrive at the scene at around 6pm as smoke billows out of the window with actors, who regularly help in training exercises for the emergency services, recused blackened and choking from the home while paramedics attempt to resuscitate a child actor.

A sharp comparison will be made with the same family earlier escaping unhurt from the same premises alerted by the alarm which detects the smoke in time for them to get out safely.

Ian Leigh, Blue Watch Manager, co-ordinate the unique event with the help of the Donnington Partnership, including police, Wrekin Housing Trust, residents, Telford & Wrekin Council and Concept Smoke Systems.

“People are unaware that you are more than twice as likely to die in an accidental house fire if you don’t have a working smoke alarm”, he said.

“We aim to help people understand the dangers and consequences of not having a working smoke alarm by showing what happens when you do have a working smoke alarm and then comparing it to a home without one.

“It is difficult to get over the nature of a house fire and how quickly smoke spreads and just how important it is to get out quickly.  In this demonstration we aim to show just that”.

Constable Nicki Scott of the local policing team said: “This will be an excellent way of educating residents in the Donnington area on the need for smoke detectors in the home and also target anti social behaviour and fire setting which sometimes occurs in the area”.

During the evening the Fire and Rescue Service’s outreach education vehicle will be at the scene to give information to residents including advice on testing smoke alarms weekly, making sure their batteries are changed annually, or installing one with a 10 year battery.

* Article reprinted with kind permission of Shropshire Star


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