High rise flat fires in Scotland at lowest level in eight years

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David Mc Gown LSO Cut Off

ACO David McGown, Director of Prevention and Protection

The number of high rise flat fires in Scotland has fallen to its lowest level in eight years.

Official statistics released by SFRS, show a total of 238 incidents were reported over 2016/17 in buildings at least ten storeys high – down almost a quarter on the previous year and 261 - 52 per cent, down on 2009/10.                    

Casualty rates have also reduced in buildings of more than ten storeys, with 45 recorded over the period, marking a near 30 per cent reduction on 2015/16 when the figure stood at 64.

In the past year alone firefighters undertook 70,743 Home Fire Safety Visits, which are essential in helping detect risks in the home. In addition, more than 2,400 operational assurance visits have been carried out at high rise properties where communal facilities, such as stairwells, are checked for the purposes of firefighting and firefighter safety.

Assistant Chief Officer David McGown said: “The SFRS attends at every emergency and has an agreed Standard Operating Procedure in place which sets out how fires in High Rise Premises should be dealt with, utilising appropriate training and equipment, including high reach appliances.

“Whilst it is encouraging to note an overall reduction in the number of fires affecting domestic properties, we are not complacent.

“We routinely carry out operational assurance visits at high rise premises for the purposes of checking facilities and arrangements for firefighting and firefighter safety.

“In addition, we have specific safety information relating to high rise premises available on the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service website.

“This includes tried and tested national advice regarding what to do in the event of a fire, should the fire occur in the flat you are in or elsewhere in the building.

“I would remind communities in Scotland that we are here to support them, most notably through our free Home Fire Safety Visits where firefighters will provide safety advice and guidance on what to do in the event of an emergency.”

To book a free home fire safety visit call 0800 0731 999, text ‘FIRE’ to 80800 or visit www.firescotland.gov.uk where further information on how to stay safe can be found.

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