Householders are living in ‘potential death-traps’

Figures show more than a million homes in England do not have a working smoke alarm.

New research has revealed more than a million homes in England do not have a smoke alarm.

Fire and rescue service leaders are now urging householders to ensure their home is not a potential ‘fire death-trap’ by making sure there is a working smoke alarm.

A public opinion poll, commissioned by the Local Government Association (LGA) ahead of its annual fire conference this week, revealed that seven per cent of people in England did not have a smoke alarm in their home.

Councillor Brian Coleman, the chairman of the LGA’s fire services management committee, said: “It is nothing less than shocking that more than a million homes in England do not have a smoke alarm installed.

“A working smoke alarm can make the difference between life and death and should be seen as every bit as essential as a lock on the front door.

“More than 300 people still die in fires every year. People who do not have a working alarm are putting themselves and others at risk.

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“Smoke alarms are available for free in many areas and most DIY shops sell them for a few pounds.

“We would urge anyone who hasn’t got one fitted already to make sure they are not needlessly putting themselves at risk of the death and destruction fire can cause by getting in touch with their local fire authority and requesting a home safety check.”

Separate analysis by the LGA suggests this equates to an estimated 1.5 million homes in England.

Official statistics show more than one in three fires attended by fire crews are in buildings which do not have an alarm.

Firefighters have also raised concerns that alarms are often not check properly and urge residents to carry out regular tests.

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