Funding for free smoke alarms.

More than a million households mainly in deprived areas in England will be offered free smoke alarms and fire safety advice in a 25m [pounds sterling] fire prevention package announced by the ODPM as FIRE went to press.

New funding will support a massive expansion of the existing home fire safety checks work over the next four years and enable them to offer more free smoke alarms. Priority will go to vulnerable people, mainly the elderly, young families and black and ethnic minority groups, who, statistics show, are more at risk of house fires. The new scheme is expected to drive down fires, deaths and injuries in the home and could save more than 20 lives a year. Minister Phil Hope said: "When facing up to risks and dangers, most people want personal contact and practical help from someone they trust and this funding will offer just that, especially to deprived areas and communities. …

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