The importance of having adequate insurance is being highlighted by East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service.
The service says its firefighters have attended a number of house fires in recent weeks at properties without building or contents insurance – or worse still, both.
Neal Robinson at ESFRS said that in times of economic cutbacks people may be tempted to not insure their property, or stop insurance.
However, they should remember that fire does not discriminate.
Mr Robinson, the head of community risk management at ESFRS , said, “If there is a fire in your home you risk losing everything.
“Even if the fire is contained to one area, smoke and water damage can have a huge impact.
“To know that you do not have insurance to help rebuild your lives makes it even tougher to face.
“We would also urge people not to cut costs on smoke alarms – whether you need to instal them, replace them or buy new batteries.
“Having working alarms gives you early warning if a fire starts.
“A smoke alarm is the easiest way to alert you to the danger of fire, giving you time to escape.
“They are cheap, easy to get hold of and easy to fit.”
ESFRS has a community safety team at Eastbourne and home fire safety advice can also be found at www.esfrs.org