The MFB is urging people to ensure their homes are equipped with working smoke detectors following the release of alarming data.

According to the Metropolitan Fire Brigade, fire alarms were not installed in 20 per cent of the homes in Whittlesea and Hume which its crews were called to last year.

MFB data shows crews were called to 85 house fires in Whittlesea and Hume in 2018.

Smoke alarms were not installed in seven Whittlesea houses and 10 Hume homes.

The data covers MFB call-outs to Broadmeadows, Campbellfield, Coolaroo, Gladstone Park, Jacana, Tullamarine, Meadow Heights, Westmeadows, Attwood, Dallas, Bundoora, Epping, Lalor, Mill Park and Thomastown.

Other areas of Whittlesea and Hume are covered by the CFA.

MFB acting deputy chief officer Adam Dalrymple said the statistics were concerning.

He is urging the community not to become complacent.

“Working smoke alarms provide a vital early warning and are designed to help you and your loved ones escape during a fire,” Mr Dalrymple said.

“Some 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.

“MFB was called to 1572 residential structure fires across the metropolitan district last year – and 193 homes had no smoke alarms.

Mr Dalrymple said people should test and clean their smoke alarms every month.

He said smoke alarms should be replaced every 10 years, with tenants responsible for testing and cleaning the smoke alarms in their rental property monthly.

“Consider installing interconnected smoke alarms, so that when any alarm activates, all smoke alarms will sound,” he said.

“Renters must contact their real estate agent or landlord if their smoke alarms are not working.”