Latest SFRS report highlights reduction of fire risk in Aberdeen

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Local Senior Officer for Aberdeen, Duncan Smith presented the annual performance report to local Councillors on the Communities, Housing and Infrastructure Committee yesterday (17 May).


The latest performance report for Aberdeen city presented to the local scrutiny committee has highlighted a reduction of fire risk in Aberdeen over the reporting period.

Local Senior Officer for Aberdeen, Duncan Smith presented the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) annual performance report to local Councillors on the Communities, Housing and Infrastructure Committee yesterday (17 May).

It is encouraging to report that following analysis of current performance that the overall trend is one of a continuing reducing fire risk profile in Aberdeen over the long term.

It is also pleasing to report a slight reduction in the overall number of attendances at unwanted fire alarms signals.

Tragically one person did lose their life in a dwelling fire in Aberdeen during this reporting period however this compares to three fire fatalities over the same period the previous year.

Whilst we have noted a slight increase this year in the number of dwelling house fires there continues to be a notable reduction in both the severity of dwelling fires and the harm suffered to people within the home when a fire has occurred, for example, approximately 83 per cent of all accidental dwelling fires in Aberdeen do not spread beyond the item that was first ignited.

Mr Smith said: “Our main risk reduction activity is our free Home Fire Safety Visit (HFSV) service and we have continued to refine our approach to identify and support those individuals who we deem to be a higher risk from having a fire in the home.

“A recent success has been implementation of our local joint collaboration with NHS colleagues that enhances referral pathways for a HFSV by local healthcare professionals.”

The number of deliberate dwelling fires also saw a welcome reduction and our analysis suggests this is indicative of the local partnership approach with Aberdeen City Council, Police Scotland and other partners to reduce fires of this nature.

Mr Smith said: “We are encouraged by the continuing and steady reduction in the number of deliberately started dwelling fires over the past year."

Local firefighters based at our Central fire station have now commenced with specialist training in Water Recue which supports the national SFRS strategy of more equitable access to specialist resources and increases our operational capabilities to respond to these types of incidents.

Additionally, pre-planning has commenced for introducing a Rope Rescue capability at Altens Fire Station.

These improved capabilities will ensure that Aberdeen City personnel are fully prepared and ready to contribute to wider resilience response needs not only if they occur within Aberdeen City but across the whole of Scotland. 

Area Manager Smith added: “Moving forward it is our intention to continue to build upon, and refine, our preventative approach with partners to support our aim of reducing risk in our local communities.

"We would far rather be visiting homes, care homes, engaging with young people and providing helpful advice about fire prevention and safety than actually attending a fire or other incident and dealing with the devastating impact that it can have.”

Local firefighters carried out 2770 free Home Fire Safety Visits in Aberdeen during 2015/16 which is an increase from last year and a significant rise from our pre-reform 2012-13 performance (359 visits).

Home Fire Safety visits are free, carried out by local firefighters and provide simple but effective advice that can reduce the risk of experiencing a fire in the home.

If you have not already signed up for one please 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.

Anyone can arrange a free home fire safety visit by calling SFRS on the freephone number 0800 073 1999, by texting ‘FIRE’ to 80800 or by filling in a form at