I would like to see a fire alarm such as a smoke detector in every home, including mobile homes and caravans. These devices provide an early warning of fire, and particularly where occupants are asleep, they can play a major role in saving lives and property.
However, I am firmly convinced that people should be encouraged to install fire alarms, rather than that an attempt should be made to make their provision compulsory. Responsibility for ensuring that a home is safe from fire rests with the householder. A householder who installs a smoke detector by choice is likely to be far more conscious of the value of fire safety than someone who installs one only because he is forced to do so. In my view, it is better to convince householders of the value of domestic fire alarms by advice and publicity.
On numerous occasions, I have publicly advocated the provision of smoke detectors as a valuable protection against death and injury by fire. A number of publicity campaigns to highlight the advantages of smoke detectors in homes have been run by the National Safety Council. The council has just produced a special leaflet entitled "Fire Safety for the Travelling Community" which contains detailed advice on particular aspects of fire safety in caravans, including the desirability of having a smoke alarm. The leaflet is being distributed with the assistance of local authority fire officers, social workers and other persons who work with the travelling community.