Date: 16th January, 2020
Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service (DWFRS) is reminding people about the dangers of portable heaters, after a man in his nineties had to be rescued from a fire at his home in Sturminster Newton.
Firefighters from Sturminster Newton and Blandford were called to the property at 1:22am on 14 January, and found the halogen heater had caused a fire in the lounge. Two breathing apparatus wearers rescued the man and used one hose reel jet to extinguish the fire.
Station Manager Steve Broad, who was the fire investigation officer at the scene, said: “Thankfully, due to the quick response from the local on-call crews, the occupant was rescued from the property before being taken to hospital by ambulance as he had suffered smoke inhalation. During my investigation, I found that the property did not have working smoke alarms, so we are grateful the outcome wasn’t any worse.”
He added: “We cannot stress enough how important it is to make sure you have working smoke alarms in your home as these do save lives. If you don’t have enough, or they’re not in the right place, you might not be alerted in time if a fire does break out.”
During the colder weather it is important to keep warm, but using portable heaters carry risks, so DWFRS has the following advice:
- Keep heaters at least one metre (3ft) away from curtains and furniture.
- Never use portable heaters for drying clothes.
- Always unplug portable heaters before going to bed or leaving the property.
- Only use gas and paraffin heaters in well ventilated areas.
- Try to secure heaters against a wall to stop them falling over.
If you feel you would benefit from more advice about living safer from fire within your home, or you have a relative, neighbour or friend you have concerns about, please contact the Safe and Well freephone number on 0800 038 2323 or visit our website at www.dwfire.org.uk/safe-and-well-visits for more information.