The number of people dying in accidental house fires has hit a record low in the West Midlands.

The latest statistics from the fire brigade show 15 people died in the last year compared with 25 people the year before.

Across the UK there were 351 deaths from accidental house fires, compared with 396 a year earlier.

West Midlands Fire Service said the reduction was due to the success of its community education and fire prevention programmes.

Frank Sheehan, chief fire officer, said: "I attribute our success in driving down these figures, not only to the professional dedication of our firefighters at the scenes of incidents, but to our extensive programme of ongoing community fire safety work.

"West Midlands Fire Service has been pioneering prevention work out in the community, including education programmes in schools and innovative ways of reaching the vulnerable sections of our communities and we are seeing the benefits in the figures revealed today.

"Home Fire Risk Assessments are now forming the backbone of the work we do to make the region safer."