Accidental house fires claimed 42 lives in South Yorkshire over nine years

A fire service campaign has been launched
A fire service campaign has been launched

Accidental house fires in South Yorkshire have claimed 42 lives since 2009, new figures reveal today.

In a bid to reduce fire deaths in the county, a campaign has been launched aimed at protecting older people from blazes in their homes, with figures revealing that more than half of the deaths recorded in South Yorkshire since 2009 involved people over the age of 60.

Several of the victims lived alone and only half had a working smoke alarm installed.

Fire chiefs are urging more people to take up the offer of a free fire service home visit, where safety advice is given and smoke alarms are fitted

They want people with elderly relatives to test their smoke alarms and look for potential fire hazards in their homes.

Steve Helps, head of prevention and protection, said: “We have known for many years that isolated, older people are significantly more likely to die in house fires. But we also know that some older people can be hard to reach by traditional methods of engaging them around fire safety.

"That’s why we are calling on relatives, friends and neighbours to help us, help them by looking out for some common fire hazards, helping them test their smoke alarms and referring them to us if they need further support.”