New data from the Metropolitan Fire Brigade has revealed that working smoke alarms were present in only 31 per cent of house fires which occurred in Hume last year.

Of 45 house fires that crews were called to in Hume, 10 homes did not have a smoke alarm installed.

MFB acting deputy chief executive Adam Dalrymple warned Hume residents about complacency over smoke detectors.

“Working smoke alarms provide a vital early warning and are designed to help you and your loved ones escape during a fire,” he said. “MFB was called to 1572 residential fires across the metropolitan district last year and 193 homes had no smoke alarms.

“This is a real concern – smoke alarms should be installed in bedrooms and all living areas, which is where most fatal fires start.

“Without one, you are putting yourself and your family in danger.

Mr Dalrymple said residents needed to regularly check their alarms to ensure they were in working order.

“It’s important to test your smoke alarm by pushing the button every month to ensure it will work when you need it the most,” he said. “Regardless of the type of smoke alarm you have, all smoke alarms need to be cleaned monthly and replaced every 10 years. Consider installing interconnected smoke alarms, so that when any alarm activates, all smoke alarms will sound.

“Tenants are responsible for testing and cleaning the smoke alarms in their rental property monthly.

“Renters must contact their real estate agent or landlord if their smoke alarms are not working or emitting an occasional chirping sound.

“Do not become complacent – this piece of equipment can save your life.”