Why You Should Keep Your Smoke Alarms Up To Date

March 2015 News Web Exclusive

If you want to hear a good argument for keeping your smoke alarms up to date onboard, check out this man’s story according to Cambridge News.

Tuesday night he fell asleep onboard his houseboat at Harford Marina, Huntingdon, U.K., only to wake up to the shrieking of his smoke alarm. The man found flames coming from an electric heater and ran to get a fire extinguisher, but by the time he returned, the broiling smoke was so thick he knew it was unsafe to attempt to go back inside. He called for help just after 9 p.m. and firefighters from St. Ives, Huntingdon, and Cambridge swooped in to tackle the blaze, which was spreading to the 27-foot leisure boat in the next slip. Because the man’s houseboat was well and truly burning by the time help could arrive, the crews focused on the cylinders on the houseboat to protect against the danger of an explosion.

"This was a particularly challenging incident due to limited access to the boats,” Station Commander Martin Ockenden said, according to Cambridge News. "This incident highlights the importance of having working smoke alarms in houseboats. In this case the alarm alerted the resident who was sleeping at the time the fire started.”

Ockenden also advised switching off electric heaters whenever a houseboater leaves the boat or retires for the night.  

Fortunately, aside from the first man no one was inside his houseboat or the leisure craft next to him. The fire crews were able to head back to their stations a little after midnight.

As awesome as it would be if electric heaters worked perfectly all the time, this incident can serve as a helpful warning to help keep fellow houseboaters safe. 

Photo credited to Cambridge News


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