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28th MAY 1998

Britain 's first-ever home inspection by a fire-prevention officer was carried out in Ammanford on Tuesday.

As a fore-runner to National Fire Prevention Week, which begins next Monday, I accompanied Station Officer Oliver Coggins of Ammanford Fire Brigade, and Mr. T. Davies, a fire prevention officer on an inspection of the home of Councillor Hayden Lewis.

The visit was a typical example of what will be taking place al over the country next week, when fire prevention officers will be entering private homes to carry out fire inspections.

Your home may be one of them if you agree to let an officer pay a visit if you are given the opportunity.

As Mr. Lewis said after the inspection of his home had been completed: “Surely it is better to be told of any faults before a fire occurs in your house. If a fire officer draws your attention to some fault it is much better to spend a few shillings having it put right. It may cost you all you own if you ignore his warnings and your house burns down.”

I agree with Mr. Lewis.

To many people I spoke to last week have said that they didn't want a fireman looking round their house.

“He might find something wrong. It might cost me a lot of money to have it put right,” they said.

That seems a very narrow minded attitude.


Having a fire officer visit your home will cost you nothing. He will simply tell you if he thinks there is anything which is likely to cause fire.

In Mr. Lewis's house on Tuesday the fire officers examined the electrical installations, the fire grate and the electric cooker. They checked on the cord holding a pulley of clothes above the fire-place.

They looked for matches in a position which might be accessible to children, and the asked if Mr. Lewis had an oil heater.

As it happened, everything was in order. The house – like all the others of its type in Ammanford – had just been completely re-wired. There was a spark-proof guard in front of the fire, a brand new rope on the pulley, and no oil heater.

By Bill Fletcher.

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