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Safety advice 'stops' squat fires in Birmingham

28 January 2013 Last updated at 14:11 GMT

A fire safety project for homeless people in Birmingham has stopped accidental fatal fires in squats and abandoned buildings since its introduction two years ago, the fire service says.

With the number of homeless people rising in the West Midlands, charity SIFA Fireside has been working with firefighters to educate people while fitting smoke alarms in squats.

Once they have visited the various squats and buildings, information about where homeless people are sleeping is passed to fire crews, giving them a vital "heads up" if a fire does start, which is more likely as the wintry conditions continue.

Teenager Brian, who lives in the toilets of an abandoned warehouse, tells BBC Inside Out West Midlands that he is now more careful about fire safety.

An Inside Out West Midlands report on how West Midlands Fire Service and SIFA Fireside is working together to help Birmingham's homeless community will be featured on BBC One on Monday, 28 January at 19:30 GMT. It will be available nationwide on the iPlayer for seven days thereafter.