The South Yorkshire Times is today launching a campaign to introduce new laws to help prevent house fires like the one that claimed the life of Libby-Jayne Hornsby.
Libby, two, died in a home which did not have a working smoke alarm fitted.
Our ‘Do it for Libby’ campaign is calling on the Government to introduce a new law that requires landlords to fit smoke alarms in every privately-rented property.
Top fire chiefs, senior MPs and a coroner have already pledged their support to the fire safety drive this week.
South Yorkshire’s chief fire officer James Courtney said: “Many of those most vulnerable to fire live in private, rented accommodation, so making it a legal requirement for all landlords to fit smoke alarms would improve the safety of thousands of families in South Yorkshire.
“Working smoke alarms give you the vital extra moments to escape if a fire does start in your home. Government research found you are more than four times as likely to die in a house fire if you don’t have working smoke alarms.”
At present landlords are only legally required to install smoke alarms at ‘houses in multiple occupation’ such as student housing and bed and breakfast hotels.
There is no law that requires them to fit alarms in private-rented homes similar to the one in which Libby-Jayne died in on Don Street, Conisbrough, last October.
Our campaign hopes to change this.
Libby’s family was not available for comment this week, but a neighbour expressed her support for the campaign.
Grandmother-of-four Beryl Elliott, 82, said: “What happened was an absolute tragedy. The family was devastated. I knew the little girl, she used to wave to me. This shows that everyone should have a smoke alarm. I hope some action is taken.”
For more exclusive content on the campaign, see this week’s South Yorkshire Times.