LANDLORDS must be forced to install smoke alarms, councillors have demanded.

Forty-eight of the 50 people who died in fires in West Yorkshire in the last five years lived in private rented housing.

Councillors will tonight call for a change in the law to force landlords to install smoke alarms at their properties.

Labour, Conservative and Lib Dem members of Kirklees Council have united to submit a motion to the monthly council meeting, which starts at Huddersfield Town Hall at 5pm today.

Colne Valley Lib Dem Clr David Ridgway, who represents the council on West Yorkshire Fire Authority, called on councillors to back the move.

He said: “It is an absolute disgrace that it is not already mandatory for landlords to install fire alarms.

“Such a small, simple, cheap device can be the difference between someone living, dying or being terribly injured.

“I am certain the motion will receive unanimous support from across the chamber and all parties.”

Greenhead Labour woman Clr Judith Hughes, who is also a member of the fire authority, added: “Alarms are not the only solution in the fire safety armoury but they are critical in providing early warning and preventing deaths.”