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Parents in Lichfield and Burntwood are being warned not to borrow batteries from smoke alarms to use in new Christmas toys. Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service have called on parents to buy enough batteries in advance. The force’s head of risk reduction Jim Bywater said: “It is absolutely vital that every home has working smoke alarms – we have had a number of incidents across the county this year where lives have literally been saved thanks to smoke detectors activating. “Statistics show that more accidental fires happen in December than at any other time of year so it is particularly important that people take every precaution possible to protect themselves and their families. The risks are increased due to people being at home for the Christmas break, enjoying a drink with family and friends and the fact that there are additional potential hazards such as tree lights, candles and wrapping paper. “While it may be a temptation to ‘borrow’ the batteries to try out a new toy or gadget, it is easy to forget to put them back into the smoke alarm so don’t take the risk. “We would also encourage people to test the smoke alarms of any older or vulnerable friends, relatives or neighbours. It is not an exaggeration to say that this could have life-saving consequences.”


Founder of Lichfield Live and editor of the site.