Firefighters praised as they help young Haywards Heath girl overcome fear of smoke alarm sound

A young girl’s fear of the sound of smoke alarms is being overcome thanks to West Sussex firefighters.

Seven-year-old Elsie Williams alerted her mum Felicity to a fire in their Haywards Heath home in November 2017 when their smoke alarm went off.

Crews from Haywards Heath Fire Station put the fire out, but since then Elsie has been afraid of the noise of the alarm.

After Felicity got in touch with the crew, they invited her and Elsie into the station to see what they could do to help.

Felicity said: “They prepared some beautiful fire safety messages with her name on it, all personalised.

“It just made the visit really fun. We put some fire kit on, we went in the fire engines, and went up to the control centre to meet the people who took our call. They just made it a fun experience for her.

Elsie during her visit

Elsie during her visit

“Elsie’s great and is doing really well as a result. We are definitely going in the right direction and I think the visit was really helpful as part of that process.

“I just want to say a massive thank you to the firefighters who were absolutely amazing.”

Crew Manager Phil Pierpoint, who organised the visit, said: “It was a real pleasure to invite Elsie and her mum into the station.

“We try to do as much as we can around prevention and community safety, and we really wanted to help Elsie understand how some of this works, as well as the purpose of a smoke alarm and why it is important to have one in your home.” Working smoke alarms can save lives, and there are steps you can take to protect yourself and your home:

• Fit smoke alarms on each floor level in your home

• Test your smoke alarm once a week to make sure the batteries are working

• Change the batteries once a year

• Replace your smoke alarm every ten years

For more information about smoke alarms visit https://www.westsussex.gov.uk/fire-emergencies-and-crime/west-sussex-fire-and-rescue-service/home-fire-safety/smoke-alarms/

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