Pick up a book, free smoke alarm, and sit in a fire engine this summer

Release Date: 09 August 2017

Richmond Fire Service will be giving fire safety advice outside local libraries this summer – where residents’ can also pick up a free smoke alarm and see inside a real fire engine.

Since June, Richmond Council’s Library Service, in partnership with Richmond Fire Brigade, have been distributing free smoke alarms to people living in privately rented properties across the borough, thanks to funding from the GLA.

Over the next few weeks, local firefighters will be bringing a fire engine and visiting libraries in Teddington, Richmond and Whitton, to host fire safety information stands. Residents can speak to the crew about the day-to-day work of firefighters, the importance of having a smoke alarm at home and pick up hints and tips about making sure that your property is protected from fire.

Every year the fire and rescue service is called to over 600,000 fires across the country. Approximately 50,000 (140 a day) of these are in the home, with nearly 500 people killed and 11,000 people injured. Many of these incidents could have been prevented if people had an early warning and were able to get out in time.

For privately rented tenants just looking for a free smoke alarm, visit Whitton, Teddington, Twickenham, Richmond and East Sheen libraries.

Cllr David Linnette, Richmond Council Cabinet Member for Libraries, said:

“Smoke alarms are proven life savers. They give warning at the first sign of fire, waking you and your family up and giving everyone the time they need to get safely out and call the fire service.

“Over the past few weeks our library services have distributed hundreds of alarms. And, this month, you will also be able to pick up valuable hints and tips about other ways to ensure your homes are safe.

“We want Richmond to be London’s safest borough and these free smoke alarms and visits will play a small but significant part in that.

“So over the next few weeks, why not pop to Teddington, Richmond or Whitton libraries to pick up book, a smoke alarm and some fire safety advice.”

Andy Cane, London Fire Brigade’s Borough Commander for Richmond, added:

“Working smoke alarms give early warning of a fire in the home and save lives. A working smoke alarm, along with closed doors to rooms, especially at night, will mean you are woken up and able to escape safely from a fire. We are very excited to be able to offer these alarms to the people of Richmond as part of the project. It is very important that the alarms are checked weekly and information on how to do this is contained within the instructions”

Come along to a Fire Service visit on the below dates: 

  • Teddington Library – 15 August from 2 to 5pm
  • Richmond Library – 19 August from 2 to 4pm
  • Whitton Library – 21 August from 2 to 5pm

Fire Brigade visits are subject to there being no emergency in the borough. Please follow @RichmondLibs on Twitter for updates.

Free smoke alarms

Free smoke alarms are available (whilst stocks last) for privately renting tenants ONLY in Richmond upon Thames.

Home Fire Safety Visits

In addition to the free smoke alarms for private tenants, all residents including owner occupiers can request a Home Fire Safety Visit direct from the London Fire Brigade, especially older people, those living alone or who have a disability.

To apply, visit the London Fire Brigade website or phone 0800 028 4428.

Notes for editors

If you are a journalist and would like further information about this press release, contact Elinor Firth on 020 8487 5159.

Reference: P372/17

Updated: 17 August 2017