"Smoke alarms help save lives and reduce injuries. But they don't prevent fires, they don't put them out and they don't rescue you.
"It is important to understand there is still a risk to life when you do have them fitted. It's critical you have an escape plan so you know how to get you and your family out if you can.
"Smoke alarms are not and cannot be a replacement for firefighters. Too many fire services have used the fitting of smoke alarms to justify cuts to their local fire service, and these figures show why that is very wrong.
"We have highlighted for the last two years our concerns about increasing delays in the speed of fire service response times - how quickly we can get to an emergency. There is no doubt people are dying as a result of these delays, which are happening because of cuts in the service.
"When a working smoke alarm gives an early alert to a fire it gives firefighters a better chance of rescuing those who are trapped. That has been undermined by slower response times which do reduce your chances of survival or limiting injuries
"There has been a large drop in the number of fire deaths in the last 25 years. This is as much to do with better prevention, better building design and safer and less flammable furniture as it is with smoke alarms and fire service rescues.
"It is critical to remember that firefighters rescue over 7,000 people every year from fires. Smoke alarms cannot do that."
Posted: 14.28pm, 21.06.11, firstname.lastname@example.org
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