London fire claims more than a third of fatal home fires happen in living room

PUBLISHED: 10:58 25 February 2016 | UPDATED: 10:59 25 February 2016

Fire raging in domestic kitchen at night

Fire raging in domestic kitchen at night

(c) Michael Blann

Less than 50 people have died per year for the past three years

London Fire Brigade is warning the public to fit more than one smoke alarm in their homes and properties, after new figures showed two thirds of fatal fires may have been prevented by better smoke alarm placement.

Figures suggest that two thirds of people were not alerted to a fire because they either hadn’t been installed, or were fitted too far away from where the fire started.

Over the last three years, less than 150 people have died from fires in the capital.

A London Fire Spokesperson said: “We recommend that, as a minimum, you should have at least one smoke alarm on every level of your home but that people should install more alarms in areas of risk especially if they are smokers, have mobility issues or live alone.”

Figures from the brigade claim more than a third of fatal home fires start in the living room, with 30 per cent in the bedroom.

Director of operations Dave Brown said: “Smoke alarm ownership has greatly increased thanks to the hard work of firefighters getting important fire safety messages out and the public acting on it but simply having one smoke alarm is not enough.

“Often our fire investigators find that a person died because the smoke never reached the alarm in the hallway and didn’t give the resident early enough warning.

“There can be no excuse not to install smoke alarms in key areas of your home apart from the kitchen so that you help protect you and loved ones from fire and have a greater chance of survival.”

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