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Five of the seven fatal fires which took place in London since the turn of the year have been due to the lack of a smoke alarm, according to new figures released by London Fire Brigade.
Since the beginning of 2017 ten people have died in fires across the capital.
In all but one of these cases, LFB was only called when a neighbour noticed the fire; in the other instance the smoke alarm operated and was linked to a telecare provider who called the brigade.
London Fire Commissioner Dany Cotton said: “While the coroner has yet to determine cause of death we believe that many of these deaths could have been avoided if the victims had working smoke alarms.
“Often the most deadly fires are small fires that quietly smoulder and smoke while people are asleep or in a different room.
“Without the early warning of a smoke alarm, people can be over come with smoke before the fire is discovered.
“Please fit at least one smoke alarm on every floor of your property and regularly check them. The quicker firefighters are alerted, the quicker we can help save lives and prevent fires from spreading. Get out, stay out and dial 999.
“It is devastating that in 2017 people are dying from fire in homes without life saving smoke alarms on every level of their property.
“Last year we visited over 70,000 homes of London's most vulnerable carrying out home fire safety visits but there is a lot more we all must do to educate people about the benefits of smoke alarms for everyone and sprinklers for the most vulnerable."
Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, said: “It is deeply concerning that Londoners are risking their lives by not having working smoke alarms in their homes.
“Smoke alarms provide a vital warning in case of fire and can mean the difference between life and death. I urge Londoners to take the Fire Brigade’s advice and fit alarms in your home, helping them in the fantastic work they do every day to keep us safe.”