West Midlands Fire Service have issued an urgent Covid safety warning as more and more people work from home.

They are urging people to make sure they have working smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms – because they save lives.

Fewer than 2 in ten households have a working CO alarm, despite the fact that carbon monoxide is an invisible killer – you can’t see it, hear it, smell it or taste it.

It’s highly poisonous, and you should have an alarm in any room with an open fire, wood-burning stove, or gas boiler or oven.

Meanwhile, over the last three years, smoke alarms failed to go off in 45 per cent of 5,000 fires in West Midlands homes.

In many cases the fire was beyond the range of the alarm, which highlights the need to fit them on all levels of your home.

Pete Wilson, The Fire Service’s Group Manager for Prevention, said: “Home safety is important year-round, but now even more so with so many people working from home because of the pandemic.

“As we approach winter and use of open fires, central heating and cooking increases, now is the time to make sure you’ve got the right alarms in the right places.

“Alarms provide precious time to escape.

“Because of lockdown restrictions, we recognise that checking on vulnerable family, friends and neighbours can be difficult. If someone you know is vulnerable and you think they haven't got working smoke alarms please refer them for a Safe and Well visit, by visiting the WMFS website.”

For the latest up to date advice and information about keeping your home safe please see https://www.wmfs.net/safety/at-home/