A family of four narrowly missed being caught in a blaze which hit their home as their fire alarm had no battery.

Last night’s (Mar 15) fire started in the conservatory and damaged half the ground floor and part of the first floor, leaving the home in Hereward Gardens, Southgate, uninhabitable.

An electrical fault was set off, meaning the battery-less alarm did not have a power backup in place.

It was spotted by one of the children from their bedroom window and the fire service arrived around 8.15pm to respond.

An unnamed London Fire Brigade spokesperson said: “Homes need multiple linked smoke alarms or you won’t be properly covered.

“Ideal spots for smoke alarms include rooms where you leave electrical equipment running like satellite boxes, computers or heaters, any room where you smoke and anywhere you charge your mobile or laptop.

“As a minimum you should have smoke alarms on every floor in the hallways and the rooms you use the most, plus a heat alarm in the kitchen.”

The fire was under control by 10.20pm and no one has been reported injured.