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Smoke alarm helps residents escape late night Exmoor holiday cottage fire

By This is Somerset  |  Posted: October 24, 2012

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A smoke alarm saved a family from injury during a cottage fire on Exmoor in the early hours of this morning.

Firefighters from Williton and Minehead rushed to the blaze at Roadwater, near Washford, at around 2.40am.

The kitchen of the two-storey property was on fire, and crews said a working smoke alarm woke the occupants and gave them time to escape.

"The occupants of this property, which was a holiday cottage, were awoken by a smoke alarm that had been fitted in this property," said a Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service spokesman.

"The smoke alarm detected smoke at the earliest stages of the fire allowing the occupants extra time to get to safety."

The fire was extinguished by crews, and the property was ventilated using a positive pressure ventilation fan.

The service said the incident highlighted the importance of having working smoke alarms.

"A smoke alarm should be fitted on every floor of a home, ideally on the ceiling of the hallway or landing," said the spokesman.

"It should not be fitted in the kitchen where it can be set off accidentally.

"Smoke alarms cost as little as £5, readily available from supermarkets and high street stores.

"Alternatively a 10-year alarm may cost a few pounds more but does not require frequent battery changes.

"Smoke alarms are available with a hush button which silences the alarm if it activates by mistake.

"To look after a smoke alarm, the alarm should be tested every week, the battery should be changed every year (unless it is a 10-year alarm), the inside of the smoke alarm should be vacuumed every six months to prevent the build up of dust and thrips, and the alarm should be replaced every 10 years.

"The smoke alarm is useless if the battery is removed."

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