Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service has warned householders to beware of "cold callers" trying to sell smoke alarms on the doorstep.
One company from Staffordshire is being investigated by trading standards for selling battery powered smoke detectors and leaving householders in the West Midlands with the false belief that they are connected directly to their local fire station.
"This is completely misleading as smoke alarms run on a battery are not connected directly to the local fire station," warned the brigade’s fire crime officer.
"If there is a fire emergency people must dial 999 for the fire service to attend. They must not rely on believing that these detectors will automatically alert their local fire station," said Derek Taylor, who is based at Shrewsbury fire HQ in St Michaels Street.
Firefighters though do urge the public to have a smoke alarm fitted as it alerts the householder to fire danger, allowing them to escape in time.