Havering’s fire boss in smoke alarm warning

Havering’s fire chief has urged residents to invest in fire alarms and batteries, following a spate of blazes in which firefighters found homeowners did not have working alarms.

The warning also comes after the tragic death of Edward Mapp, who died at his home in Devonshire Road, Hornchurch, on March 4.

The 86-year-old was found by firefighters in the kitchen, but despite resuscitation attempts, he could not be saved.

He did not have any fire alarms fitted.

Borough commander Trevor Meers said: “Any fire death is a tragedy but to think that something as simple as a smoke alarm could have made a difference is even sadder.

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“I’m calling on the people of Havering to go out and get a smoke alarm today. If you’ve already got one, check it works. I don’t want our firefighters to be called out to another needless fire tragedy.”

Mr Meers said there had been “several” other near-fatal fires in the borough in recent months where residents did not have a working system.

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“I just can’t stress enough how vital it is to fit a smoke alarm on each level of your home and to test it weekly,” he said. “There’s no doubt they buy you vital seconds to escape.”

Smoke alarms cost around �10 and can even be fitted as part of a free home fire safety visit by local firefighters.

Officers will also give advice on how to prevent fires.

For more information on free home fire safety visits call 0800 028 44 28 or visit website www.london-fire.gov.uk

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