How often do we read or hear of homes not having smoke alarms? Only yesterday the Courier reported yet another blaze in a Tayside home; this time in Perth. The occupant was lucky. Although he had no smoke alarm he was rescued by his neighbour.
It's distressing to know that smoke alarms are issued to all homes in Scotland along with a free Home Fire Safety Visit - yet people don't claim them. Some fire and rescue services in England offer a similar service.
Often we hear that smoke detectors were present in the house but the batteries had been removed - possibly because the occupants found the noise irritating, or didn't replace batteries when needed.
Why do some people treat an inexpensive, vital piece of life-saving equipment with such disdain? Are our schools not teaching young people about the dangers of fire? Perhaps we need a public information film shown on television before Albert Square and in the break of Coronation Street?
Recently, across Scotland there have been a number of fires which have caused fatalities according to Perth Fire Station manager Neil Kerr, who also stated fires are often attributed to a combination of cooking and alcohol consumption.
What people do in their own homes in their business, but they also have to take the responsibility of being a good neighbour. Fire can destroy not only the home in which it starts, but others around it. The person involved in the Perth fire was very fortunate he had a good neighbour.
I don't believe in a nanny state, but maybe it's time the government insisted every home had mains-powered alarms. They may be costly to install but nothing compared to the loss of lives and the damage fire does to properties. Another benefit of mains-powered devices is that they don't require regular testing - a boon to those who may have difficulty reaching an alarm.
Am I over-reacting? Having witnessed a serious house fire when I was young and the damage it can cause to humans, pets and buildings, I think not.