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A third of fires in Merseyside occur in houses without smoke alarms

A third of fires in Merseyside occur in houses without smoke alarms

The lack of a smoke alarm is a factor in more than one in three fires across Merseyside.

This is according to figures published by Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service showing that of the 3,067 accidental house blazes reported across the region since the beginning of 2012, 1,054 of these properties did not have a smoke alarm. 

In addition, a further 22 fires were extinguished in homes that were fitted with an alarm, but the batteries had been removed and not replaced. 

Now the service is urging homeowners across the region, and indeed the country, to check they have an alarm installed and that it is in working order.

Kevin Johnson, home safety manager at Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service, said: "A working smoke alarm can give you the valuable seconds needed to escape a house fire.

"People are at least four times more likely to die if they don't have a working smoke alarm, so taking the time to test smoke alarms could be a life-saving decision."

It is also hoped that residents will do what they can to help elderly or vulnerable neighbours and relatives to test their systems.

The fire service has made the call in the hope people will take the time to conduct alarm tests alongside moving clocks back by an hour to signal the end of British Summer Time.

A similar campaign was launched when the clocks went forward in March and it is estimated that one in seven people across the UK took the opportunity to test alarms at the same time. 

Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service's new initiative has been designed to build on this, while also highlighting the dangers of smoke inhalation. Last year, more than half of the 213 fire deaths recorded across the UK were actually attributed to the deadly effect of smoke, which often engulfs people while they are asleep. 

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