Angus has seen a reduction in the number of accidental house fires and deliberate fire-raising, according to a senior member of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS).
Speaking this week at Angus Council’s scrutiny committee, Local Senior Officer Colin Grieve presented what he described as positive figures in his performance report.
Between October 1 and December 31 last year, there were 26 accidental house fires, a reduction of 13 per cent compared to the same period in 2014. Of these 26 fires, 21 homes had a fitted smoke detector with 17 of these working.
LSO Grieve also welcomed a 38 per cent reduction in deliberate fire setting with 13 secondary fires which required firefighters’ attendance compared with the same quarter in 2014-15 and a 35 per cent reduction in the five year average of 20.
He said: “I am pleased with this figure as it is clear that we are getting key safety messages across to the public.
“Firefighters, along with our partners, work hard to build relationships with the youths within the community and give advice on how to avoid getting involved in wilful fire raising and hoax calls. Crews work with the local schools to deliver with the Safe Angus programme where in excess of 400 primary six and seven pupils attended the event.
The service is also continuing to improve its performance locally, with 1679 home safety visits delivered this year to date. As part of these visits fire safety advice is given on a number of home fire safety risk areas such as leaving cooking unattended, a fire escape plan and testing and maintain smoke detectors.
Staff are also now trained in Dementia awareness and spotting signs of financial harm so that individuals can be pointed to sources of help from partners.
LSO Grieve added: “Partnership working and the delivery of home fire safety visits are both crucial in helping to reduce the number of accidental dwelling fires.
“We continue to develop our partnerships to ensure those who are most at risk or vulnerable from fire or harm in the home are identified and that appropriate risk reduction measures are put in place.
“The trend indicates a positive reduction over the past three years and we will continue to highlight the impact on our communities of fire-related antisocial behaviour.
“As a result of the excellent partnership work undertaken within the ward areas of Angus we are fortunate to have a low number of deliberate fires which account for 5 per cent of all incidents. We will continue to work with our partner agencies and with groups within the community to help maintain and improve the reduction in deliberate fires.”
There were no fire-related fatalities between October and December last year although crews tended to 26 fire-related casualties, a reduction on the 2014 figure of 30. A smoke alarm was present in all but two of these incidents and raised the alarm. All but one of the incidents was started accidentally of which two were caused by cooking related activities. None of the injuries were of a serious nature.
The LSO said: “The SFRS vision is to have no fire fatalities/casualties throughout Scotland and we are striving to achieve this through partnership working with Angus Council, Police Scotland, Health, Voluntary Action Angus, Housing Associations and local landlords, and these links will continue to develop and implement risk reduction strategies. “
Crews regularly visit houses and provide free advice which helps to reduce the number of casualties and fatalities through early detection and intervention.
To register for a free home fire safety visit call the SFRS on 0800 0731 999 or visit the website at www.firescotland.gov.uk