SFRS Publishes Fire and Rescue Statistics 2014/15

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Scotland continues to see a fall in the number of fires but work to protect those most at risk must go on if tragedies are to be prevented.

The statistics reveal the overall number of fires in the country dropped by 11 per cent compared to the previous year, with the number of fires not involving people or financial loss falling by almost a fifth.

You can view the full report and statistical highlights on our Fire and Rescue statistics page.

Downward trends in the number of house fires and fire fatalities also continued with the year seeing the second lowest number of each in the past decade, although both categories saw increases on the record low numbers of 2013/14.

Assistant Chief Officer Lewis Ramsay, the SFRS director of prevention and protection, said: “These figures show why we are dedicated to preventing fires before they happen.

“The risk factors are well known and there are many things we can do to help vulnerable people stay safe and feel confident in their homes.

“Our crews throughout Scotland are carrying out more targeted home fire safety visits than ever before, but reaching those who most need our support is a constant challenge and the public are our greatest allies in achieving it.”

People who are older, who live alone and who have difficulty getting around are among those most likely to fall victim to fire.

An aging population means people throughout Scotland are living longer, living on their own and with increasingly complex needs and SFRS works closely with other agencies to identify those who could most benefit from firefighters’ support.

ACO Ramsay explained: “Our crews have ensured many more homes have adequate fire detection in place and the greater coverage of smoke alarms and heat alarms means people are now much more likely to get early warning if a fire starts.

“Not only does this give them vital time to get to safety and call 999, it also means firefighters have a better chance of extinguishing the fire before it spreads and rescuing anyone who is unable to get out.

“Making sure homes are protected by these devices has meant the severity of fires has fallen and communities are becoming much safer as a result.

He continued: “Although this year saw the decade’s second lowest number of fire fatalities, compared to last year we have sadly seen a rise in the number of lives lost as a result of fires within the home.

“Every death through fire is a tragedy and we know many could be prevented. That’s why we need people to keep backing Scotland’s fight against fire.”

The Fire and Rescue Statistics for 2014/15 revealed the wide range of incidents to which Scotland’s firefighters respond.

In addition to 25,002 fires SFRS crews were also called to 10,740 ‘special service’ incidents. These included almost 2,300 road traffic collisions and nearly 1,800 incidents where firefighters had to effect entry or exit.

False alarms accounted for 58 per cent of all incidents attended by the country’s firefighters and a rise in the number of premises fitted with alarms may be behind an increase in such instances.

A single unwanted fire alarms (UFAS) policy was not in place across Scotland for much of the 2014/15 period, however this has since been implemented and by engaging with businesses SFRS has started to see a reduction in the number of UFAS.

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