House fires in Aberdeenshire have fallen to a five year low

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LSO Ian Findlay brought the performance report before Aberdeenshire Council Communities Committee on Thursday, May 31

Fireengine2Firefighters carried out almost 2000 home fire safety visits across Aberdeenshire over the course of just 12 months – as accidental house fires in the region fall to a five a year low.

The crews met with a total of 1970 residents between April 2017 and March 2018 to ensure they were supported to reduce fire risks within their homes.

The statistics were revealed as it emerged the number of accidental house fires in Aberdeenshire are at the lowest level since 2013 – with 162 reported over the same period which is a reduction of 8 from 2016.

And 65 per cent of those incidents were caused by people becoming distracted while cooking, resulting in 22 casualties.

The total number of fire casualties from accidental dwelling fires was 31 which is an increase of 12 on the previous year.

The findings were highlighted by the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service in a report brought before Aberdeenshire Council Communities Committee meeting on Thursday, May 31.

Ian Findlay, SFRS Local Senior Officer for Aberdeenshire, says the best way to fight a fire is to prevent it happening in the first place.

He said: “It is pleasing to see the decline of accidental dwelling fires but we are never complacent. We continue to monitor our intelligence and it is clear these particular incidents are most commonly linked to cooking.

“Accidental fires can have a devastating impact on the lives of the people involved, and the community as a whole.

“One of the ways we work to prevent fire from occurring is through our free home safety visits where crews engage with residents to ensure we provide the most appropriate support to reduce the risk of unintentional harm in the home.

“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.”

LSO Findlay also highlighted The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service’s public consultation as it proposes to train and equip firefighters to meet new and emerging modern risks such as severe weather related flooding – which closed on May 14.

The national flood tactial adviser said: “We held a 90-day public consultation which closed earlier this month, where we asked the public, our partners and stakeholders for their views on our proposals to transform the way the SFRS delivers a service that better meets the new and emerging risks now facing Scotland’s communities.

“I would like to thank Aberdeenshire Council for taking the time to submit a response to our consultation.

“There is absolutely no doubt that by seeking to transform, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service is leading the way in Scotland’s public sector.”

To arrange a free Home Fire Safety visit contact 0800 073 1999, text ‘FIRE’ to 80800 or fill in a form at /your-safety/hfsv-form.aspx