Western Isles residents urged to book Home Fire Safety Visit

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Local Senior Officer for the Western Isles, Fraser Burr, presented the latest Quarterly Performance Report to the Environment and Protective Services Committee on Tuesday, 28 February.

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A Western Isles fire officer has urged residents to book a Home Fire Safety Visit (HFSV) to help keep them safe and prevent accidental house fires.

Latest figures released in the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service’s (SFRS) Quarterly Performance Report, reveal a total of 149 visits were carried out by firefighters on the Islands between July and December. Of this, 74% were delivered at homes of some of the most vulnerable people in need of assistance.

Free HFSV’s are carried out throughout the year and are designed to help residents recognise risks within their living space. Firefighters share advice with occupants on what to do in the event of a fire as well as check or install smoke detectors.

Local Senior Officer Fraser Burr spoke following a meeting of the Environment and Protective Services Committee on Tuesday, 28 February, where he stressed the importance of the free service.

He said: “Home Fire Safety Visits help reduce casualty numbers through early detection and intervention.

“They play an important role in improving fire safety at home and ultimately help protect our communities from harm.

“Sadly, two people recently lost their lives on South Uist and the thoughts of everyone at the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service remain with their loved ones at this most difficult time.

“We are determined to prevent such tragedies from occurring in the future and we will continue to work closely with our partners to identify those who are most vulnerable from fire to ensure appropriate risk reduction measures are in place.

“I urge anyone with an elderly relative, neighbour or friend who may benefit from this support to contact us directly so that we can identify potential risks and offer guidance on what to do in the event of an emergency.”

The SFRS continues to attend at special service incidents which includes road traffic collisions, flooding and industrial accidents.
Over the reporting period firefighters responded to 11 such incidents, the lowest figure recorded in the last five years.

Recruiting in the Western Isles remains a challenge but LSO Burr has called on those interested in becoming a retained firefighter to step forward.

He said: “Recruiting in many rural parts of Scotland continues to be a challenge but one we are determined to meet head-on.

“Joining the SFRS is an opportunity to learn new skills and broaden horizons whilst bringing tremendous benefits to local communities.

“Anyone who is interested in performing this crucial role should visit the SFRS website for further information.”

For further information on arranging a free HSFV for you or a loved one then please go to our website www.firescotland.gov.uk.

Alternatively you can call 0800 0731 999 or text "FIRE" to 80800 from your mobile phone.