The annual performance report for Aberdeen presented to the local scrutiny committee has highlighted a reduction of fire risk in the city over the past 12 months.
Area Manager and Senior Officer for Aberdeen, Duncan Smith presented the first Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) annual report for the city to councillors on the Social Care, Wellbeing and Safety Committee today (27 May 2014).
The figures highlighted that in 2013/14 there were 247 accidental house fires, compared to 266 in 2012/13 which equates to an overall reduction of 13 per cent in these types of incidents.
Area Manager Smith said: "Although tragically one person lost their life in a fire in Aberdeen during the period April 2013 to March 2014 we saw the overall number of fire casualties reduce not only over these 12 months but below the three year average.
"The number of deliberate house fires also saw a welcome reduction and our analysis suggests this is indicative of the local partnership approach with Aberdeen City Council and Police Scotland to reduce fires of this nature."
There was a slight increase in vehicle fires when compared to the three year average with 55 per cent of these fires being started deliberately.
Area Manager Smith added: "We remain committed to working very closely with Police Scotland to look at ways in which the number of these incidents can be reduced and support our partners whenever possible in local risk reduction initiatives.
"We are very encouraged by the continuing reduction in the number of deliberate secondary fires over the past year.
"Historically, Aberdeen had experienced a large number of such incidents. Over a number of years we have focused effort on this issue and supported by our community safety partners we have seen significant positive outcomes."
He added: "This type of incident is usually started by children and young people.
"Our local firefighters and community safety team will continue to concentrate on educating children and young people on the risk from deliberate fires. We will also continue to work with our partners in local initiatives to reduce these types of fires."
Vice-Convener of the local scrutiny committee, with responsibility for Fire and Police, Councillor Gordon Graham commented: "It is the role of Committee members to hold the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service to account on their performance and offer feedback on that performance and we take that responsibility seriously.
"It is therefore encouraging to see an overall positive reduction of fire incidents for Aberdeen City and I would like to personally applaud the efforts made by local firefighters over the last 12 months.
"I am very supportive of the continuing commitment made locally to working in partnership to deliver improved outcomes to our communities and welcome the enhanced local engagement that has taken place with Officers from the SFRS."
The reductions in many areas contained in the report is testament to the continued prevention and protection work being carried out by the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service working with, and alongside, our valued local partners.
Area Manager Smith added: "It is our intention to continue to build upon our preventative approach to support our aim of continuous improvement in risk reduction outcomes.
"We would far rather be visiting homes, schools, care homes etc. and providing helpful advice to people about fire prevention and safety than actually attending a fire and seeing the potentially devastating impact that it can have."
Local firefighters carried out 2549 free Home Fire Safety Visits in Aberdeen during 2013/14 which represents nearly a 700 per cent increase in the number of visits carried out by local firefighters compared to the same period the previous year (369 visits).
The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, working closely with its partners, aims to continue to engage with as many vulnerable persons as possible and target higher risk areas in Aberdeen to encourage individuals to see the benefits of receiving a free Home Fire safety visit.
If you have not already signed up for one please don’t hesitate get in touch with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service today. If you do not have a smoke alarm fitted in your property we will provide one free of charge.
For further information about how to arrange a free Home Fire Safety Visit please go to our website www.firescotland.gov.uk
call 0800 0731 999
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