FIRE chiefs have warned people on Wearside that failing to have a working smoke alarm could cost lives.
Figures show 211 families in England lost loved ones in house fires last year. More than half the victims were over 65.
Firefighters are urging people to test their own smoke alarms as well as helping others test theirs too.
Dave Jefferson, of Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Everyone notices when a clock stops ticking, but it’s not so easy to be sure that your smoke alarms are still working.
“Check them and continue to test them at least once a month. It really could save your life.”