Retirement Living Officer commended by West Midlands Fire Service


Candle Fire Safety

While we do everything we can to avoid fires breaking out in our homes, sometimes unexpected incidents can happen because of devices left switched on, electrical faults or unattended flamesLast week, a fire broke out at Jack David House, one of our retirement living schemes in Great Bridge in Sandwell.

When the fire broke out, Retirement Living Officer Linda Durden was quick to respond, raising the alarm through the automated (break glass) system and also by dialling 999.

When West Midlands Fire Service arrived on the scene, they were greeted by multiple people self-evacuating from the premises, with Linda at the front calmly escorting customers to safety. Linda gave a calm, but thorough account of what had happened and her excellent building knowledge was a great help to the Fire Service, who said her actions undoubtedly stopped anyone inside the building from being seriously hurt.

Praise for Linda

Members of the West Midlands Fire Service acknowledged the professionalism shown by Linda, praising the way she assisted the evacuation of residents with warmth and care.

Dan Bebbington, Watch Commander at Tipton Blue Watch, Tipton’s community fire station, said:

“Rarely do we get the opportunity to commend such positive actions of building staff when faced with such a pressurised situation. I felt it important to highlight Linda's professionalism and thank her for the support she offered the Fire Service, she really did make our task a whole lot easier. Thank you Linda!”

Sharon Alexis-Wilson, Director of Retirement Living, said:

“As a landlord, keeping our customers safe is our main focus and we do all we can to prevent incidents like fires from taking place in our homes. I am extremely proud of the way Linda responded to this incident, not only demonstrating a thorough understanding of our fire safety procedure, but showing compassion, warmth and care to vulnerable customers in need of help.

“We are thrilled to have received such positive feedback from West Midlands Fire Service, and on behalf of all at Jack David House, we thank Linda for working so hard to keep everyone safe.”

Members of the West Midlands Fire Service and Tipton Blue Watch will visit Jack David House over the next few weeks, to offer more advice and reassurance to our customers.

Keeping your home safe

The fire at Jack David House started because a candle was left unattended. While we know that candles add to the atmosphere of our homes, it's really important that they're never left alone when lit and that children or pets are never left alone in rooms with them. 

It’s so important that we all know how to keep ourselves and our homes safe from fires. You can find out more about fire safety, including lots of advice and tips, here.