Angus sees decrease in accidental dwelling fires and deliberate fires

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Area Manager Colin Grieve praises partnership work as fire casualties fall in 2016

LSO Colin Grieve

Firefighters in Angus have revealed a 15 per cent decrease in accidental dwelling fires and a significant fall in the number of fire related injuries in the area.

Newly released figures, which were presented to members of the local council earlier today, show there were 23 accidental house fires in Angus between January and March this year. That’s four less than in the same period for 2015.

Fire related casualties have also dropped from 11 in 2015 to five in 2016. There were no fire fatalities in Angus in the first three months of this year.

Area Manager Colin Grieve has attributed the falling casualty rates to improved partnership working.

He said: “Our overall vision is to have zero fire casualties throughout Scotland and the drop in casualty figures for this year in Angus shows we are moving in the right direction.

“These figures have not been achieved by SFRS alone and thanks must go to Angus Council, Police Scotland and the countless other partners who continue to help us implement robust risk reduction strategies.

“Crews regularly visit houses and provide free Home Fire Safety Visits which helps to reduce the number of casualties through early detection and intervention. That is instrumental in contributing to safer communities.”

There was positive news on the subject of deliberate fires too, where figures show a reduction of 20 per cent compared with the same quarter last year (four between January and March 2016, compared to four in the same period of 2015).

Deliberate fires accounted for 7 per cent of all incidents in Angus in the first three months of the year. Seventeen incidents involved grassland/trees and seven were refuse fires.

Area Manager Colin Grieve added: “Firefighters continue to work very hard to build relationship with young people in Angus and provide information on the dangers of wilful fire raising.

“Crews throughout the area visit schools and work with partners in a proactive way to engage with the target audience.”

The winter storms that ravaged Scotland during January were also reflected in the stats. Firefighters in Angus received 33 flood-related call outs over this period, particularly in January which was a 72 per cent increase on the five year average (nine).

Overall, non-fire related incidents (including road traffic collisions, flooding and medical assistance) attributed to 22 per cent of all call outs in Angus over the first three months of the year. Area Manager Colin Grieve believes this figure underlines the importance of effective partnership working.

He said: “Our firefighters are now attending a higher number of incidents where they are providing support to the Scottish Ambulance Service or Police Scotland.

“This type of service will continue to be supported by SFRS crews in the future as we continue to develop cross emergency service support to ensure we safeguard or communities’ wellbeing.”