Pub fire reveals no smoke alarms

17 May 2012

A blaze that started in the upstairs living area of a pub could have ended more tragically due to the fact that there were no smoke alarms inside the premises, firefighters have said.

According to the Worcester Standard, an emergency call was made to the Worcester fire services last weekend alerting them of a fire at the Punchbowl in Lichfield Avenue, after members of the public saw dense smoke billowing from the living accommodation based upstairs. Fire crews were sent to the pub at around 8pm that day on May 13.

Following an evacuation of the building, firefighters proceeded inside wearing breathing apparatus and cleared the smoke using ventilation fans.

Station commander Ian Jallands, from Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service, said a person had already put out some of the flames with a fire extinguisher.

But he added: "Damage was limited to the first floor bedroom but this could easily have been a different story as there were no working smoke alarms fitted in the upstairs living area, and it was only by chance that the fire was spotted before it had chance to develop further."

Under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 anyone who owns commercial property in England and Wales must carry out a 'suitable and sufficient' fire risk assessment. However, if it is not conducted to meet the required standards the person responsible can be given an unlimited fine or they could face jail for up to two years.

Copyright Press Association 2012

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