Firefighters visit 100 Orkney homes to give safety advice
22 August 2017
The SFRS has underlined its commitment to keeping communities safe after it more than trebled its Home Fire Safety Visit target in Orkney.
Almost 100 free Home Fire Safety Visits have been carried out by firefighters across the Orkney Isles between April and June this year. The latest figures were revealed in a SFRS report which was presented to Orkney Islands Council on Tuesday, August 22. Home Fire Safety Visits (HFSV) are a cornerstone of the Service’s prevention efforts to help support people to stay safe at home, particularly the elderly and vulnerable. Fraser Burr, Local Senior Officer (LSO) for the Orkney Islands, said: “As part of our free Home Fire Safety Visits on offer to local residents, firefighters will provide advice on what to do in the event of an emergency and also check or install smoke detectors. “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. “We will continue to deliver free Home Fire Safety Visits (HFSV) to advise and inform residents of the dangers of fire in the home. We will also continue to work with partner agencies through a range of initiatives, which includes installation of free smoke detectors. “We have put in place a strategy to visit the islands as a priority, for example, Hoy, Wyre, Flotta, and Egilsay, as well as other referrals within the Orkney group.” The report also refers to recruitment in the area being ‘challenging’ at times, but LSO Burr said that a review of the recruitment procedure by SFRS has ensured a more efficient process for candidates. He said: “We have reviewed the retained recruitment process to ensure a smooth and more efficient experience for potential candidates and one which is geared towards the needs of our communities. “In addition, the new process makes it easier for us to target specific stations which are most in need of retained cover.” The new process also means that candidates hoping to serve in remote communities will be able to go through the application process with fewer long distance trips than has previously been the case. LSO Burr added: “Recruitment can be challenging in Orkney but we have engaged with a number of local community councils in an effort to encourage applications to join the Service. “As can be seen in the report, staff retention is currently stable in the area and I am pleased to report that there has been an increase in staff numbers at Stromness, Shapinsay, Stronsay and Kirkwall.” Anyone can arrange a free Home Fire Safety Visit by calling SFRS on the free phone number 0800 073 1999, by texting ‘FIRE’ to 80800 or by filling in a form at www.firescotland.gov.uk