Firefighters have been praised for their tireless work to reduce the number of accidental fires within homes across the city of Aberdeen.
A total of 261 accidental dwelling fires were reported to the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service between April 2018 and March this year.
This is down from 299 during the same period in 2015/16 – a reduction of 10 per cent.
The number of casualties affected by accidental dwelling fires has fallen from 51 to 35 during the same period, a drop of 35 per cent.
This comes as SFRS crews delivered 2,927 free Home Fire Safety Visits (HFSV) across Aberdeen from April 2018 and March this year, an increase of 614 on the previous 12 months.
HFSVs are a cornerstone of the Service’s prevention efforts to support people to stay safe at home, particularly the elderly and vulnerable.
Area Manager Bruce Farquharson is the SFRS Local Senior Officer for Aberdeen City.
He said: “There is a clear link between fire-related casualties and accidental dwelling fires.
“That is why we make such a concerted effort in the provision of Home Fire Safety Visits to ensure everyone has adequate fire detection in place.
“Our firefighters and staff continue to work tirelessly to ensure our communities stay safe in their homes, and cannot stress enough the importance of having a working smoke alarm.
“If fire breaks out, a smoke or heat alarm will give you valuable early warning to react and reach a place of safety. And, if you are sleeping, a working alarm could be absolutely vital.”
Figures revealed during a meeting with Aberdeen City Council’s scrutiny committee also highlighted that SFRS crews also attended 1,335 instances of unwanted fire alarm signals (UFAS) in Aberdeen between April 2018 and March this year – down from 1,412 during the previous year.
UFAS incidents occur when firefighters are called to an incident as a result of equipment failure, malicious false alarms, or false alarms with good intent.
AM Farquharson said: “Ensuring that businesses and duty holders manage their fire alarm systems effectively can help us reduce the number of unwanted fire alarm signals.
“UFAS can result in lost revenue for businesses and can present a risk of staff becoming complacent.
“We are pleased to note this reduction, however it’s hugely important that people are aware of the consequences of firefighters making unnecessary blue light journeys.”
AM Farquharson also reminded communities in Aberdeen of the importance of sharing their views as part of SFRS consultation on its Draft Strategic Plan for 2019-2022.
He said: “It is vital that the people living and working here in the city of Aberdeen have their say on our proposed plans for the future.
“In very recent memory we have seen how the changing risks Scotland can have a huge impact on our communities, and these proposals outline how we plan to meet them.
“We believe we can do more to keep people safe, through partnership working and prevention, as well as making sure we continue to meet the unique needs of our communities.”
The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service's consultation will run until Thursday, July 18 and can be accessed here: https://firescotland.citizenspace.com/planning-and-performance/draft-strategic-plan-2019-22/