A daily newspaper’s campaign to encourage the use of smoke alarms following a rise in the number of deaths in house fires has been hailed a success.
The Shropshire Star initiated the joint campaign with the fire service after the number of deaths in house fires reached a 13-year high.
It has seen more than 1,000 smoke alarms distributed for free in the county and the newspaper’s efforts have been praised by the local fire service.
Editor Keith Harrison said: “After a spate of fire deaths, we wanted to do something practical to help prevent any further tragedies.
“Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service was absolutely first class and provided more than 1,000 smoke alarms, which readers could collect for free from our offices throughout the county.
“We backed this up with a number of pieces in the paper and online and our weekly titles got on board as well.
“Initially, we planned it as a week-long campaign, but had to extend it by a further week due to demand.
“Hopefully, these simple devices will prevent the death toll rising in years to come.”
John Redmond, deputy chief fire officer, said: “Having such a formal link with a local newspaper to deliver a campaign to improve the safety of people in the local community has been extremely effective.
“Our main role is to prevent fires and accidents and to do that effectively we need to communicate with people, and the newspaper, website and local offices have greatly improved our ‘reach’ into the local population.
“We look forward to running similar joint safety campaigns in future.”