Fire chiefs have spent thousands of pounds on pointing plastic hands on sticks for homeowners to press buttons on their smoke alarms.
The red plastic sticks, which have a white hand with a pointed finger outstretched at the end, are distributed during home fire safety checks, and are to be used to press the test button on ceiling-mounted smoke alarms.
A Freedom of Information request submitted by the Evening Post revealed Mid and West Fire and Rescue Service (MWWFRS) bought a total of 10,000 ofthe sticks, at a cost of £1.75 each - a total of £17,500.
Fire Authority member Gordon Walker said: "It is absolutely ridiculous waste of money, particularly when budgets are so tight for public services.
"All people have to do is use a broom handle or something similar".
The sticks are approximately 62 cm long, or almost 2.5 foot.
A MWWFRS spokesman said the sticks were specifically for the elderly and immoble, so they would not have to use a stool or stepladder to test their alarms, and had been bought with Welsh Government funding.
Assistant Chief Fire Officer Chris Davies, director of risk said: "As the statistics show it's not enough to have a smoke alarm fitted in your home – these alarms need to be tested weekly and dusted regularly to ensure they are in working order should the worst case scenario happen.
"The testing sticks have been purchased as part of our prevention and protection strategy to provide elderly and immobile members of our communities with the help they need to test and maintain their smoke alarms safely."
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