THE statistics tell the story – of 50 people killed in house fires 48 were living in rented accommodation.

The alarming figures come from West Yorkshire fire chiefs who are calling for action in a bid to resolve the worrying problem which they’ve seen over the last five years.

Firefighters want to see a change in the law to make it mandatory to install smoke alarms in all rented property.

And it’s right, because laws say that it is compulsory to have carbon monoxide alarms in rental properties, but not smoke alarms, even though fires cause more deaths.

So it raises the questions as to why so many people in rented accommodation become victim to fires.

Complacency may be a factor. People may move into a property naively believing it will have a fitted, and working, smoke alarm.

Perhaps when setting up home for the first time it will not be top of the to do list.

Missing batteries and a lack of knowledge when moving in may also be reasons.

But most importantly everyone, whether they live in rented accommodation or their own home, should take steps to protect not only themselves, but their homes too.

If a law means fitting smoke alarms is a must then that can only be a good thing.