Perth and Kinross quarterly report - no fatalities and fewer house fires

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Also a reduction in the number of deliberately started primary fires

SFRS APPLIANCE

No one died as a result of fire in the Perth and Kinross area during the first quarter of the year and house fire numbers were down, according to the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service’s first quarterly report.

SFRS presented its first quarterly performance report for Perth & Kinross at the Community Safety Committee today (Wednesday 28 August 2013) at the Council Chambers in Perth.

This report is the first of its kind since the former Tayside Fire and Rescue merged with the seven other Fire and Rescue Services in Scotland on the 1 April 2013. The Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Act 2012 established the new Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and introduced new arrangements to improve governance and local scrutiny.

David Stapley, Local Senior Officer (LSO) for Perth & Kinross, said: “The prevention of all fire related deaths remains our key priority.

“We are pleased to say that during the first quarter (period April to June) we had no deaths as a result of fire in the Perth and Kinross area.”

The LSO for the area also highlighted a reduction in the number of house (dwelling) fires in the area and said he was “pleased,” with the reduction in the figures from 23 to 21 for same period (April to June) last year.

He said: “It is pleasing to note that this figure is the lowest for the period April to June when compared to comparative figures for the last five years. This is very much in line with our longer term aim to reduce the number of fires within homes.”

The period also saw a reduction in the number of deliberately started primary fires with 10, compared to 12 during the April to June period last year.

The area also remains ahead of target in terms of the numbers of Home Fire Safety Visits it carries out, with 1,320 undertaken within people’s homes in the period between 1 April and 30 June.

There was also a slight reduction in the number of “other primary fires.” There were 34 fires, two fewer than during the same reporting period last year.

Mr Stapley said: “We are also pleased to note that the April to June figures this year for deliberately started secondary fires (24) matches the lowest numbers experienced during the same period for each of the last five years.

“These figures are particularly pleasing because deliberate secondary fires are often associated with anti-social behaviour which impacts on the quality of life within our communities.”

The report also highlighted an increase in the number of people injured as a result of fire, with 11 for the period against a target of five.

Mr Stapley commented: “Historically these numbers can fluctuate without identifiable links in terms of cause.

“Nonetheless these are key indicators of fire trends that we will closely scrutinise and we will take action to prevent or reduce similar incidents occurring in the future.”

The Act places a requirement to publish a Local Fire and Rescue Plan for each local authority area, setting out the priorities and objectives for reducing risk and improving community safety.

A performance management framework has been developed to facilitate the monitoring of performance against the agreed priorities and outcomes detailed within the Local Perth & Kinross Plan ensuring effective targeting of resources and the principles of Best Value are met.

These priorities include reducing casualties, primary fires, deliberate fires and emergency service calls by 5%. Other priorities identified were to reduce the number of unwanted calls by 10% and increase working smoke alarm ownership within the communities of Perth & Kinross while maintaining firefighter safety and overall operational preparedness.

The transparent method of performance reporting and local scrutiny will continue to ensure that the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service is working towards local needs and priorities. Locally the Service will continue to work in partnership with key organisations in targeting and delivering our prevention and protection activities in accordance with the priorities and objectives detailed within the Perth & Kinross Local Fire and Rescue Plan 2013-2014 and District Plans.

Perth & Kinross’ Local Fire and Rescue Plan can be found at www.firescotland.gov.uk under ‘Your Area’ and Quarterly Performance Report can be found at http://www.pkc.gov.uk/article/2034/Community-Safety-Committee.

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