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House fires halve in East Ayrshire

16 November 2019

THE NUMBER of accidental house fires in East Ayrshire has halved over the past three years, latest figures reveal.

Firefighters were called to 42 fires within homes across the region between April and September 2019 – down from a total of 84 over the same period in 2016.

The number of fire-related casualties has also decreased over the past three years, down from 12 to 4 during the same period.

This drop comes as firefighters in East Ayrshire carried out a total of 553 Home Fire Safety Visits (HFSV) in the area, during which crews fitted 411 smoke detectors – a cornerstone of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service’s prevention efforts to support people to stay safe at home, particularly the elderly and vulnerable.

Firefighters will provide advice on what to do in the event of an emergency and also check or install smoke detectors for free.

SFRS Area Manager Ian McMeekin, the Local Senior Officer for East, North and South Ayrshire, said early warning signs of fire through working smoke alarms are vital to reducing emergency incidents in the home.

He said: “We welcome this reduction, and remain absolutely committed to preventing fires from occurring in the first place.

“That is why we make such a concerted effort in the provision of our free Home Fire Safety Visits.

“We want everyone to be safe in their homes and cannot stress enough the importance of having a working smoke alarm.

“We are always particularly keen to support the most vulnerable members of our communities to live safely within the home so if you have an elderly relative, neighbour or friend who you think could benefit from a visit, then please ensure to get in contact.”

The latest figures were revealed in a SFRS report presented to the East Ayrshire Council Police and Fire Rescue Committee on Tuesday, November 12.

The report also highlighted a reduction in deliberate fire setting across the region over the past three years.

A total of 272 deliberate fires were reported to the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service between April and September 2019, down from 353 during the same six-month period in 2016.

AM McMeekin added: “It is very pleasing to highlight this significant fall of more than 20 per cent over the last three years.

“This reduction is a clear result of our long-term preventative partnership working to address the close link between these incidents and anti-social behaviour.

“We welcome this continued fall in the number of needless fires our crews are being called to – but we are never complacent, and we will continue to make every effort to drive these figures down further.”