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Last Updated: Wednesday, 3 January 2007, 15:47 GMT
Fire deaths 'cut by home checks'
Fire engine and firefighters
The number of fire injuries has also been reduced
The number of deaths in accidental house fires has halved on Merseyside in the last year.

Five people lost their lives in 2006, compared to 10 in 2005 and 11 in 2004 while the number of serious injuries suffered also fell.

Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service said that its "hard work" to improve domestic fire safety was paying off.

A free smoke alarm campaign began in 1999 when the average accidental house fire death rate was 20.

The number of serious injuries has fallen from 133 in 2005 to 122 in 2006.

Smoke alarm
Firefighters give safety advice and fit smoke alarms

The chairman of the Merseyside Fire Authority, Councillor Tony Newman, said the free home fire safety checks prompted a "downward trend" in the number of house fires.

Firefighters visit homes to give fire safety advice and fit free smoke alarms.

Chief Fire Officer Tony McGuirk said: "No other fire service in the world had ever attempted a domestic fire prevention initiative on this scale but our hard work is now paying off.

"We are still visiting 50,000 households every year to carry out Home Fire Safety Checks, offering fire prevention advice and have fitted more than 400,000 free smoke alarms.

"It is also pleasing to see that our fire prevention work is now being replicated by fire services across the country."




SEE ALSO
Woman saved by neighbour's alarm
02 Jan 07 |  Merseyside

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