The importance of working smoke alarms has been highlighted by Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service after a house fire in Warminster on Friday, May 1.

Two appliances from Warminster and one from Westbury were called to the property at 4.02am and two breathing apparatus wearers used a hose reel jet to extinguish the blaze. The bedroom of the house, in Boreham Field, was severely damaged and the firefighters believe smoking materials were the causein a  bedroom where the occupant was sleeping. The first floor of the property was affected by smoke.

The occupant was taken to hospital by ambulance and two pet cats were rescued from the property. One cat had to be revived using the Smoky Paws oxygen therapy kit.

Station Manager Matthew Maggs said: “The property did have working smoke alarms which alerted the occupier. Had that not been the case, the outcome could have been far worse. Every home should have a working smoke alarm on every level, and these should be tested regularly.”

“The fire was believed to have been caused by discarded smoking materials. Cigarettes and other smoking products are the source of ignition in a third of all accidental fire fatalities in the home.  These simple steps can help prevent a cigarette fire in the home.”

  • Never smoke in bed. Take care when you’re tired – it’s very easy to fall asleep while your cigarette is still burning and set furniture alight.
  • Never smoke when under the influenceof drugs or alcohol. If your lit cigarette starts a fire you could be less able to escape.
  • Put it out, right out!  Make sure your cigarette is fully extinguished.
  • Fit a smoke alarm and test it at least monthly. A working smoke alarm can buy you valuable time to get out, stay out and call 999.
  • Never leave lit cigarettes, cigars or pipes unattended– they can easily overbalance as they burn down.
  • Use a proper, heavy ashtraythat can’t tip over easily, made of a material that won’t burn.

Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service offers free Safe & Well visits – to see if you qualify, visit or call 0800 038 2323.