More than 80,000 homes visited by firefighters in South Yorkshire over the last four years never had working smoke alarms.
Of all the homes visited by the fire service as part of its free home safety check service, over 40,603 never had alarms and another 41,921 were found with flat batteries or with them removed.
The fire services’ Head of Community Safety, Kevin Ronan, said: “We’ve been providing free smoke alarms for more than a decade in South Yorkshire, and national campaigns about the importance of smoke alarm ownership and testing have been running since the 1980s. But still it seems there are thousands of people out there who are prepared to put their families’ lives at risk by ignoring this advice.
“Smoke alarms can’t stop a fire from happening in the first place, but what they do give you is the vital extra moments needed to escape in the event of one breaking out in your home. Smoke alarms cost as little as £5 from a DIY store or supermarket, giving you the reassurance that you’ll get an early warning if the worst does happen.”
South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue has fitted 171,346 free alarms since 2010, plus dozens of specialist alarms for deaf or hard of hearing.
The fire service also offers a free reminder service for people to test their smoke alarms, by email, text message or Tweet.
Visit www.pressthebutton.co.uk to sign up to the scheme.