A fire expert has spoken out after a backlash from the launch of plastic fire alarm testers, according to bbc.co.uk.

The plastic sticks are red with a white, pointed hand on the top and have been given out by Mid and West Wales Fire Service to aid people in testing their smoke alarms. 

However, the estimated cost of £17,500 has causes an uproar with people claiming public spending should be better monitored. 

Rob Quin, corporate head of risk at Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service spoke to BBC Radio Wales, saying: “We need to encourage people to test alarms and remind them of the need to, and I’m not sure that somebody standing at the top of the stairs – particularly an elderly person – with an upside down sweeping brush is the most effective way of doing that.”

He went on to say that alarm testing needed to be given more coverage and people needed reminding.

Thisissouthwales.co.uk reports that research had shown nearly 20 per cent of house fires in 2012 and 2013 had smoke alarms but they had not worked.

A spokesman for the Welsh government spoke out saying that £900,000 had been allocated to the fire and rescue services in Wales and that it was for those services to decide on what equipment they needed.