Devon firefighters were in danger of getting higher than they expected when they tackled a blazing house roof one night during July in Exeter.
The fire brigade managed to prevent the roof fire spreading to neighbouring houses, but the roof was 90% burned by the time the blaze was extinguished seven hours later.
However, while the occupants may have escaped the blaze, they couldn’t escape the law. The roof space had been used for growing cannabis plants, and was kitted out with reflective material, wiring and heaters to grow around 40 plants a year.
In court, the occupants admitted possession of 34 cannabis plants, grown for their own personal use rather than dealing. In a rather mixed metaphor, their defence lawyer claimed; “This was a cottage garden industry.”
Whatever you use your unconverted loft space for, and hopefully it’s just the usual storage of Christmas decorations and suitcases, you can give you and your family advance warning of any fire by installing a heat alarm. Unlike optical or photoelectric smoke alarms, which can be set off by dust particles swirling in your loft on windy days, a heat alarm only activates when the temperature rises above 57 degrees C (135 degrees F). If you live in a new-built home you may already such an alarm fitted in your kitchen.
Should a fire break out in your loft, a heat alarm will give you and your family plenty of warning to get out, stay out and call the fire brigade to deal with the fire.