Accidental dwelling fires continue to fall in Angus

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The figures were presented to the Angus Council Scrutiny and Audit Committee today.

Jmh _5303_450x 300Firefighters have visited hundreds of Angus residents – as the number of accidental house fires continue to fall.

The crews checked out 800 properties over the course of the last six months and provided valuable safety advice.

Home Safety Visits are a cornerstone of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service’s effort to support people to stay safe at home, particularly the most elderly and the vulnerable.

The figure was revealed as it also emerged how the number of accidental house fires fell to 13 in 2017/18 - compared to 30 in 2016/17. The lowest number of accidental fires for the period in the past 5 years.

The data for July to September 2017 was outlined in the latest performance report to local councillors at the Angus Council Scrutiny and Audit Committee on Tuesday, November 21.

Local Senior Officer Colin Grieve welcomed the fall but said the SFRS was not complacent and remained committed to reducing the number of incidents even further.

He said: “Whilst I welcome the reduction in accidental dwelling fires, we are not complacent.

“Between April and September this year, firefighters carried out more than 800 Home Fire Safety Visits to help identify hazards as well as supply and install smoke detectors free of charge.

“We’re here to help everyone stay safe but we’re particularly keen to support the most vulnerable and elderly within our communities.

“That’s why we appeal to everyone to check if their elderly relatives, friends or neighbours are in need of this vital support – and to contact us directly.”

Latest figures also showed a reduction from six to two in fire casualties for the second quarter 2017/18 when compared to the same quarter 2016/17.

The number of fire casualties are at their lowest for the past 5 years and is a direct result of the low number of accidental fires being experienced in Angus just now.

LSO Grieve said: “Our overall ambition is to have zero fire casualties throughout Scotland and the drop in casualty figures for this year in Angus shows we are moving in the right direction.

“This reduction has not been achieved by SFRS alone and thanks must go to the many partners including the Local Authority and Healthcare, who we work with on a regular basis to make the communities of Angus safer.”

The report also revealed a reduction in the last three months in deliberate fires.

A total of 39 deliberate fires were recorded during the second quarter – a reduction of almost half when compared to the spike in the last quarter.

LSO Grieve said: “Across Angus we continue to work very hard to raise awareness and educate on the potentially devastating consequences of deliberate fire raising.

“Positive engagement with local communities, particularly with young people, remains our most effective weapon in combatting this unacceptable behavior.

“Preventing these incidents from occurring in the first place is our main aim and as such we continue to engage with local schools and youth groups to highlight the risks.

“We take a zero tolerance approach towards anyone who deliberately sets fire and are committed to working closely with our partners, including Police Scotland, to help ensure those involved in this criminal activity are quickly identified and action taken.”

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.

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