The Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service are reminding residents that the SAME (smoking, alcohol, mobility and being elderly) factors greatly increase the risk of dying in a house fire.

Drinking alcohol and becoming distracted, while cooking, caused a a couple to have a lucky escape yesterday when Firefighters were called to reports of a smoke alarm sounding in a flat.  A neighbour heard the alarm and alerted emergency services who forced entry through a window after they were unable to raise the occupants. Once inside the smoke filled flat they found a saucepan had been left on the hob unattended and had boiled dry. The occupants, a couple in their 20s, had fallen asleep and were not woken by the smoke alarm as they had been drinking.

Fortunately the couple were unharmed but they were checked over by paramedics at the scene as a precaution.

Brian Moss, said: “This couple were extremely lucky their vigilant neighbour raised the alarm for them as they could have easily been harmed had they have continued to inhale the toxic smoke over a longer period of time. This incident just goes to show how risky it is to cook after having a few drinks. When cooking it is really important to keep an eye on what you are doing and when you have had a drink your attention will not be focused like it needs to be. The incident highlights one of the factors from our SAME campaign which was launched last year. The campaign is based on 10 years of evidence which show that one or more of the following factors greatly increase your risk of dying in a fire; being a smoker, drinking alcohol, having poor mobility and/or being elderly. The campaign uses the acronym SAME to make it easy for people to remember the four factors.”

For more information on the SAME campaign visit:  or call the FREE Community Advice Team on 0800 0241 999.