FireAngel smoke alarms to protect Zimbabwe children’s home from further fire tragedies

Sister Gemma Simmonds & Doug Underwood from Norfolk F&RS 2

FireAngel smoke alarms to protect Zimbabwe children’s home from further fire tragedies

Sprue Safety Products has teamed up with Norfolk Fire & Rescue Service to provide 50 FireAngel ST-620 smoke alarms to protect children and staff at the Mary Ward Children’s Home in Kwekwe, Zimbabwe.

The donation comes following a devastating fire at the home in May last year, in which a nine year old boy, Aaron, tragically died and 17 year old Takudzwa suffered severe burns. The fire destroyed one of the four houses that make up the children’s home. Boys sleeping in St Francis House were woken by the smoke and some bravely tried to extinguish the fire, risking their lives to save others. However, they were quickly overcome by the smoke and intense heat.

Sadly, the home was not fitted with smoke alarms, which would have alerted everyone early on, giving the children and staff vital minutes to escape to safety.

Craig Lannie of Sprue Safety Products, manufacturer of the FireAngel alarms being provided to the children’s home as part of the rebuild said, ‘It’s an absolute tragedy that a young life was lost in this fire. Smoke alarms really do save lives – research shows that if you have a smoke alarm, you’re more likely to discover a fire in under five minutes, minimising the risk of death or injury. We want to make sure that everyone at the Mary Ward Children’s Home will be safe from any risk of fire in the future, so further tragedies can be prevented.’

Stuart Horth, head of community safety, community engagement and youth development at Norfolk Fire & Rescue Service, added, ‘This was a devastating fire with such sad consequences, which could have been avoided if the home had had smoke alarms. We’re now working with the charity in the rebuild to ensure that the new accommodation is completely fire safe. As well as supplying the smoke alarms from Sprue, we will be providing guidance and advice to the staff and children on how to stay safe, minimise any fire risks and help them plan a quick and easy escape route.’

Picture shows: Sister Gemma Simmonds, sister of the Congregation of Jesus, with Doug Underwood, community safety team manager, Norfolk Fire & Rescue Service. Sister Gemma will deliver 50 FireAngel smoke alarms to the Mary Ward Children’s home in KweKwe.

 

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