Accidental house fires down in South Ayrshire

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Local Senior Officer, James Scott, presented the latest performance report this week.

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A senior fire officer has welcomed a reduction in the number of accidental house fires in South Ayrshire.

Latest figures reveal a total of 84 incidents were reported between April 1, 2016 and March 31 this year – down on the previous year when the figure stood at 89.

More than half of these incidents were due to cooking with distraction identified as one of the main causes.

James Scott, Local Senior Officer for South Ayrshire, said: “Although I very much welcome any reduction in accidental house fires, it’s clear that distraction whilst cooking remains a key contributor to these incidents.

“That’s why it is so important that people never leave the kitchen unattended while they are cooking.

“Anyone can get distracted and if that happens in the kitchen then it’s all too easy for a potentially serious fire to break out.”

The SFRS advise the following tips for kitchen safety:
• Never leave your cooker, grill or oven on when you go out – even on a timer
• Never hang or dry clothing and towels near the cooker
• When deep frying only ever fill one third full
• Always switch appliances off before going to bed or leaving the house

In addition, the SFRS offers FREE Home Fire Safety Visits during which firefighters share advice to help residents recognise risks, check or install smoke alarms and advice on what to do in the event of a fire.

To arrange a free Home Fire Safety visit contact SFRS on the freephone number 0800 073 1999, by texting ‘FIRE’ to 80800 or by filling in a form at www.firescotland.gov.uk

The findings emerged in the latest Scottish Fire and Rescue Service Performance Report brought before South Ayrshire Council on Tuesday, June 27.

It also revealed the number of deliberate fires in South Ayrshire had increased over the period from 218 to 246.

Of this, the vast majority were classed as secondary fires involving refuse, scrubland and outdoor areas.

LSO Scott continued: “This reckless behaviour is completely unacceptable and we take a zero tolerance approach towards anyone involved in such activity.

“Deliberate fires put lives and property at risk. They can have a devastating impact on the surrounding environment as well as affect local businesses and road networks.

“It also places an unnecessary strain on SFRS resources however, through robust and flexible strategic planning, our crews are always ready to respond to any incident to keep our communities safe.

“As part of our ongoing strategy to prevent future fires, our firefighters engage with local schools and youth groups to highlight the risks and educate young people.

“A great deal of work has gone into identifying and addressing anti-social behaviour in our communities; no singular agency can reduce this on their own so it is very much a partnership approach.”

The report also states the number of fires in non-domestic properties fell to a five-year low with a total of 44 incidents.

Those injured from non-fire emergencies, including road traffic collisions, fell from 124 to 114 while responses to, and attendance at Unwanted Fire Alarms Signals (UFAS) reduced slightly to 657.

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