FIRE chiefs have stressed the importance of fitting smoke alarms.
And they urged people to make sure their alarms work properly, after the tragic death of a West Yorkshire pensioner.
Coroner David Hinchliffe said at an inquest last Friday that if a smoke detector had been maintained and the batteries working, the 65-year-old Wakefield man would have lived.
He said it was not just a case of fitting a smoke alarm, but maintaining it.
David Monks, West Yorkshire's Assistant Chief Fire Officer, said: "I cannot stress enough the importance of having smoke detection fitted and working in the home.
"Last year, out of 137 house fires in Kirklees, 25 did not have smoke detectors and 94 raised the alarm.
"But 18 had not been maintained and so did not work.
"In a number of these cases this unfortunately led to injury or death.
"It has been proved that fitted and working smoke detectors save lives," added Mr Monks.
Anyone wanting a free home fire safety check should phone 0800 5874536.