By Anna Cross, New Zealand News, Newstalk ZB, 1.7.13

The Fire Service is working with Age Concern to try to reduce the number of older people dying in house fires.

A report shows 20 people died in avoidable house fires in the past year.

More than two thirds of those were over 50.

National commander Paul Baxter says they have recently teamed up with Age Concern and the council in Dunedin to install smoke alarms in 1,000 homes.

"We'd like to see that happening further around the country, and with the other groups that represent that age group."

He says the rise may be related to our aging population.

"We're asking people, with their parents or grandparents, to make sure they're safe in their homes (and) to make sure they've got smoke alarms."

Paul Baxter says on a more positive note, no children died in house fires last year.