Improving home safety remains a top priority for the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS).
The service carried out more than a thousand home safety visits in Dundee over a three-month period to help reduce the number of accidental dwelling fires.
The total of 1,170 was almost 25 percent more than the target of 940 visits. The majority were to vulnerable members of the community to support them to live safely in their own homes.
The figures are contained in the Fire and Rescue Quarterly Performance Q1 2016-2017 Report which was presented to Dundee City Council’s Community Safety and Public Protection Committee on August 22.
The report was presented by Colin Grieve, Local Senior Officer (LSO) for Dundee, Angus, Perth and Kinross.
He said: “These visits were conducted using a direct targeted approach using local knowledge and intelligence to target higher risk areas.
“Visits are also carried out through self-referral, referral from partner organisations and as a follow up to incidents which we attend.”
Cooking-related incidents accounted for 28 of the 59 accidental dwelling fires which the service attended.
Smoke alarms were present at 42 incidents and raised the alarm at 24 of these.
“Our home fire safety visit programme is aimed at increasing the safety of our communities by preventing fires as well as improving the level of smoke detector ownership and maintenance so our aim is for 100 percent of all properties to be fitted with working smoke alarms,” said LSO Grieve.
“The home safety visits help reduce the number of casualties and fatalities through early detection and intervention which is instrumental in contributing to safer communities.”
Fire casualty recording relates to any form of first aid treatment or medical attention regardless of the type of injury and can range from a precautionary check at the scene of an incident to hospitalisation for severe smoke inhalation.
In Dundee, there were 31 recorded injuries over the quarter at 18 separate incidents. At eight of these incidents the cause of the fire was cooking related. During the 2016-2017 reporting period SFRS carried out many more precautionary check-ups which resulted in the higher total.
The SFRS also continues to work with partners in a multi-agency approach to reduce the number of fires which are set deliberately.
“Local managers work closely with partner agencies to identify those responsible in order to reduce these incidents,” said LSO Grieve.
“A number of initiatives have been undertaken to reduce these incidents such as leaflet drops, fire safety talks, partnership meetings and various youth engagement activities.”
Messages on the risks and consequences of deliberate fire raising are delivered to all sections of the community.
“Where young people are involved they are referred, where appropriate, to our prevention team as part of our Fire Setters Intervention programme,” said LSO Grieve.
At the time of year covered in the report, weather conditions can lead to a seasonal spike and SFRS carries out ongoing spring and summer campaigns to address this.