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Visitors to elderly people should check their smoke alarms

Fire Service urges all visitors to elderly people to check their smoke alarms are working

Anyone who visits elderly people in their homes is urged to routinely check their smoke alarms are working.

Last night, firefighters rescued two elderly women from their burning Whanganui home. One woman has since died and the other is in a critical condition.

New Zealand Fire Service Area Commander for Whanganui, Bernie Rush, said investigators believe the batteries in the Castlecliff house smoke alarms were not working.

“This situation is of huge concern to us. Elderly people are at a higher risk of dying in a fire than many other people. I would urge social services, friends and family members who visit older people in their homes to check that their smoke alarms are working and the batteries are regularly changed. Better still, install long life photo electric smoke alarms and simply test them regularly.”

In most fatal house fires, there are no working smoke alarms to give an early warning. “Fire moves incredibly fast and can be deadly within five minutes. The earlier you are alerted to a fire the better your chances of survival.”

ends

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