80,000 homes in county without a working smoke alarm

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Over 80,000 homes in West Yorkshire visited by firefighters in the last three years had no working smoke alarms.

Of all the homes visited by West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (WYFRS) as part of a Home Fire Safety Check, over 71,000 had never had smoke alarms fitted before.

A further 9,000 homes had smoke alarms, but they were not working properly - either because the battery was flat or had been removed, or because they had been wrongly installed.

WYFRS Area Manager for Fire Safety, Ian Bitcon, said: “Smoke alarms are a well-proven life-saving tool, but they are no use if they are not working.

“You are at least four times more likely to die in a fire if you don’t have a working smoke alarm, so taking the time to test the smoke alarms in your home could be a truly life-saving decision.”

This weekend the fire service are supporting the national Tick Tock Test campaign, led by Government organisation Fire Kills.

The campaign encourages people to test their smoke alarm when they put their clocks back as British Summer Time ends this Sunday, October 26.

In March 2014, nearly one in seven people across the country tested their smoke alarms when they changed their clocks to British Summer Time.

Over half the people who died in fires in the home last year were 65 years old or over. So as well as testing their own alarms, Fire Kills is urging householders to test for people who might need help testing theirs.

The new Fire Kills campaign focuses on the deadly effects of smoke, engulfing innocent victims as they sleep. Many people believe smoke will wake them up if fire breaks out – but it won’t, it will leave them for dead.

To find out more about the Fire Kills campaign visit https://www.gov.uk/firekills

You can also visit the Fire Service website, www.westyorksfire.gov.uk, to book a free Home Fire Safety Check online or call 0800 5874536.