Fire victims back smoke alarm safety campaign in Sheffield

Sinead Bowden    whose micro wave oven  exploded
Sinead Bowden whose micro wave oven exploded
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A WOMAN who was rescued from her blazing home by firefighters is backing a new fire safety campaign to urge householders to check their smoke alarms regularly.

Terrified Sinead Bowden, aged 23, was given safety advice by a 999 operator while she waited for fire crews to rescue her from her house in Romsdal Road, Crookes.

Although the house was fitted with a smoke alarm, it didn’t go off because the batteries were in the wrong way round.

Now Sinead is supporting a new South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service campaign called Press the Button, which encourages householders to sign up for alerts reminding them to test their alarms regularly.

The campaign is being backed by The Star, and those signing up will receive regular alerts by email or Twitter.

Sinead said: “People always think, ‘It’s never going to happen to me’ and you take it for granted your smoke alarm will work.

“But the majority of people don’t go a day without checking social networking sites, so why not check your smoke alarms too?

“How many times do you walk past them on the stairs every day? All you have to do is press the button.”

Also backing the campaign is Leanne Wright, 22, from Tollgate Court, Pitsmoor.

She escaped her blazing flat after smoke triggered her neighbours’ alarm. Although Leanne’s home had an alarm, it didn’t go off because it wasn’t properly connected.

She said: “I think the campaign is a really good idea. If my neighbours hadn’t had an alarm, I might not be here now.”

In the last three years South Yorkshire fire crews have attended 200 fires at properties where smoke alarms didn’t go off.

Diane Malpass, head of community safety, said: “Most homes are now fitted with smoke alarms but they only save lives if they are working. We know how easy it is to forget to test batteries, but by signing up to this free service we promise to give a regular, gentle reminder which may just save a life.”

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