The latest performance report for Angus presented to the local scrutiny committee has highlighted a sustained reduction in the number of non-domestic property fires in Angus over the last six months.
Local Senior Officer (LSO) for Angus, Colin Grieve presented the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) second quarter 2016/17 Performance Report to the Angus Scrutiny and audit Committee today (Tuesday, 22 November).
The figures highlight that in the first six months of the reporting year (2016-17) there was a decline in non-domestic fires, with a reduction of six non-domestic property fires comparable to the same period last year.
Fire Safety Enforcement Officers conduct audits of specific types of non-domestic properties to ensure they comply with the fire safety requirements of the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005. These include care homes and hospitals.
The report also highlighted that no one has lost their life as a result of fire in Angus during the second quarter of the year. Despite a slight increase in the number of fire casualty numbers during the second quarter (from 5 to 6 when compared to last year), the total number of fire casualties for the first six months of 2016/17 is 20 per cent lower than five-year average for the same period.
LSO Grieve, said: “The SFRS vision is to have no fire fatalities/casualties throughout Scotland. We are striving to achieve this through partnership working with Angus Council, Police Scotland, NHS, Voluntary Action Angus, Housing associations and local landlords.
“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.”
House fires and casualties are known to increase during winter, with a high risk over the festive period.
LSO Grieve said: “As part of our winter and festive safety action plan, crews will be out in the Angus communities educating people to take extra care when cooking and using portable heaters and electric blankets”
“We would also urge you to check on elderly relatives and friends through this cold winter”
“If you have not already requested a free Home Fire Safety Visit please do not hesitate to 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.”
Although the Angus area has seen a rise in accidental house fire numbers, an increase of 10 for this period when compared to the same period last year. Long term, the evidence shows that the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and its work with communities is helping keep people safer.
LSO Grieve, said: “The area is working hard to reduce accidental house fires.”
“Although we have seen a slight increase in the numbers for the first two quarters of 2016/17, we have increased our delivery of Home Fire Safety Visits with a continued focus on delivering these in the homes of people who are most vulnerable.”
“Partnership working and the delivery of Home Fire Safety Visits are both key areas in reducing the number of accidental house fires.”
LSO Grieve added: “We continue to develop our partnerships to ensure that those who are most vulnerable from fire are identified and that appropriate risk reduction measures are put in place.”
The number of deliberate secondary fires also continues to fall, with these types of fires reducing by 19 per cent when comparing the first six months of 2016/17 to the five-year average for the same period. Our analysis suggests this is a positive outcome of the strong local partnerships we have established, including joint work with Angus Council and Police Scotland colleagues on initiatives such as the Friday Night Project at Lochside Leisure Centre, Forfar and the long standing and highly acclaimed Fire Academy.
Responses to, and attendance at Unwanted Fire Alarms Signals (UFAS) has seen a slight reduction. For the first six months of 2016/17, there was a five per cent reduction when compared to the five year average for the same period.
LSO Grieve said: “The main contributor of UFAS in Angus continues to be sheltered housing. There has been responsible attitude towards reducing these incidents by duty holders in the Angus area. We are actively working together to address any issues to help reduce the number of unwanted calls.”
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 or text "Check" to 61611 from your mobile phone.