IT’S THE story that could save someone’s life.

“If the smoke alarm wasn’t working, I would have died.”

Lauren Woodward, 19, was playing on her Xbox when a fire broke out in the kitchen of her dad’s flat in Holbury in the New Forest.

Alone at the time, she was unaware of the fire developing in the first floor flat in in January.

She then heard the fire alarm, but the flames had already taken hold in her kitchen and she called Hampshire Fire and Rescue who arrived within ten minutes.

Firefighters then managed to rescue her via a ladder.

Now, this story, reported by the Daily Echo, has inspired a life-saving smoke alarm campaign by the fire service.

Starting today, a new campaign – Don’t Get a Stoat – has been launched, aimed at children and young adults to show the importance of getting an alarm, as well as correctly positioning and regularly testing it, and maintaining it.

The campaign video follows the plight of bumbling stoat being taken by people wanting to use its unique cry.

Community safety group manager, Glenn Bowyer, said: “This animation will highlight the importance of smoke alarms in a new and innovative way.

“We are hoping to get the attention of children through the character and from there, get the vital message across to parents.”

Glenn added: “Smoke alarms save lives – it’s that simple.

“There are people now playing with their grandchildren at home or climbing mountains who would be dead if they didn’t have a smoke alarm.

“Nothing is more upsetting to a firefighter than seeing a tragedy that could so easily have been avoided.”

Those thoughts have been echoed by Lauren, who said at the time that if it wasn’t for her smoke alarm, she would have died as the fire gripped her dad’s flat.

Lauren, who works as a cleaner, said: “I called the fire service straight away, I could not get out of the house, and I had to be taken out by the window.

“I probably would have died if it wasn’t for them.”

The story, reported in the Daily Echo, saw the fire service contact Lauren on her experience and helped to inspire this new campaign.

Lauren went on to thank the crews from Hardley, Hythe and Beaulieu, which attended the incident.

Speaking to the fire service, she then said: “I had never really thought about smoke alarms but I wouldn’t have realised there was a fire until I had smelt the smoke.

“I would definitely urge everyone to make sure they have smoke alarms in their house.”

Over the past year, there have been 824 dwelling fires in Hampshire, and of those, 531 had a smoke alarm and 78 per cent worked.

The most recent Home Office figures show that, nationally, 11 per cent of households still don’t have a working smoke alarm.

The fire service say that they should be installed on every level of a house, in a hall or landing and should also be in any rooms where electrical devices are used and should be positioned on the ceiling, roughly 30cm away from walls and light fittings.

They should then be tested once a month, and have the battery replaced once a year before being removed after ten years.