IN the early hours of Wednesday 1st July, the Richards family from Heol Daniel in Llanelli were woken by the sound of their smoke alarm. They could see that there was considerable smoke coming from the living room and the curtains had caught fire. The family dialed 999 and called the Fire and Rescue Service and Mr Richards managed to throw some water onto the fire which stopped the further spread. Crews from Llanelli and Tumble attend the fire which was found to have been started by an electrical fault in a 4-plug socket extension cable which had then spread to nearby curtains. The socket only had two items plugged in and was purchased in a reputable store.

Thankfully, the family, including Alfie their little Yorkshire Terrier, escaped with no injuries. Mrs Richards said: “If the smoke alarm hadn’t gone off, I hate to think of the consequences, we may not have been able to escape safely from the fire. I have no doubt that having an early warning of the fire helped save our lives that night. It has certainly made us realise how important working smoke alarms are in the home.”

Mrs Richards continued: “Our night-time routine is now making sure every non-essential electrical item is turned off and the plugs are removed, including the TV, Kettle, Microwave etc… in fact the Fridge is the only thing that stays on now!”

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Will Bowen, Home Safety Manager said. “Thankfully no one was seriously hurt at this incident and it goes to prove the value of having working smoke alarms at your property. Having a night-time routine is good practice to ensure you are minimising any risks to you, your family and your home. Turning off non-essential electrical items, not charging devices overnight and not overloading electrical sockets is key. Unfortunately, this incident was caused by a faulty plug and if it wasn’t for the working smoke alarms or the quick thinking of Mr Richards this could have had a very different and devastating outcome.”

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