Keys were in the draw highlighted in red, were not accessible because they were close to the fire
Keys were in the draw highlighted in red, were not accessible because they were close to the fire

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Locked door
Locked door

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The security chain prevented access from outside the bungalow
The security chain prevented access from outside the bungalow

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Keys were in the draw highlighted in red, were not accessible because they were close to the fire
Keys were in the draw highlighted in red, were not accessible because they were close to the fire

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How this fire happened

A deep fat fryer left on a gas cooker, ignited in the kitchen of a residential bungalow.

The fire occurred in the evening after the retired couple had locked up for the night.

 

The door and window keys were placed in a kitchen draw where they were routinely kept.

The couple were unable to get access to the keys due to the fire on the cooker and therefore unable to open the external doors to exit the property.

After telephoning the Fire and Rescue Service the couple alerted their daughter and son-in-law who lived nearby.

 

The daughter expressed her frustration at not being able to get in despite hearing cries for help.

The couple were taken to hospital suffering smoke inhalation and minor burns to hands after removing the fryer from the heat.

The effect it had

“Since the fire, we are always mindful to keep door and window keys accessible in case of an emergency”.

Safety message​

  • Keep exit routes and stairs clear and keys readily available near the door or windows without compromising your security
     

  • Keys should be kept out of view of potential intruders and not accessible through windows or the letterbox.
     

  • Make sure keys are always kept in the same place so you don’t need to search for them.
     

  • Make a ‘Fire Escape Plan’ so you know in advance what you are going to do if a fire should occur in your home.
     

  • Make sure you consider the needs of everyone in the property including any pets.
     

  • The first priority is to get everyone to safety by evacuating the home.
     

  • Consider where you will be at different times of day.
     

  • Consider alternative means or routes if the fire is blocking your exit i.e. windows, flat roof, balcony etc.
     

  • Nominate a place where family members will meet.
     

  • Practise your Fire Plan with your family at least twice a year, more often with young children.