Firefighters throughout Glasgow are delivering a wide range of initiatives aimed at preventing emergencies but the public’s help is crucial to their success.
Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) crews across the city target their work to individuals and groups who could be at increased risk of experiencing a fire and being hurt or killed as a result.
In recent months they completed more than 1,500 free home fire safety visits and conducted awareness-raising presentations to around 4,000 school pupils and young adults.
Other preventative work included demonstrating the dangers of chip pans to nearly 600 people, delivering Cook Safe courses to elderly residents in social housing properties and running Fire Reach and Junior Fire Reach courses to teenagers and children.
Area Manager George McGrandles, the SFRS local senior officer for Glasgow, said: “We know that raising awareness of risks reduces the chance of tragedies happening.
“Conducting free home fire safety visits, demonstrating how chip pan fires can start and spread, helping people cook safely and speaking to youngsters about the impact of needless fires – it all improves understanding and helps prevent emergencies.”
At a recent meeting of the Safe Glasgow Group the city’s local senior officer advised councillors of the benefit improved fire detection systems are providing residents.
With more people getting early warning of emerging dangers, firefighters are now being called to incidents that may have previously gone unreported as occupiers and neighbours make an emergency call.
Mr McGrandles explained: “The need for every home to be protected by working smoke alarms is absolutely clear and the fact these are increasingly in place means we are being called to incidents that we wouldn’t have known about in the past.
“Although some of these cooking-related incidents may never have developed into a significant fire others certainly would have done, causing massive damage and threatening lives.
“Improved early warning is undoubtedly preventing serious incidents and, where a fire does take hold, our firefighters have a much better chance of getting there in time to save people and property.”
The service targets its preventative work to reach people who may be vulnerable and of the 1,545 visits conducted in the three months to 31 December 2015, 544 were in properties where someone had been designated as ‘high risk’.
Factors known to increase the chance of experiencing a fire and being injured or killed in one include age, living alone, living with physical or mental health conditions, smoking and misusing alcohol or drugs.
Mr McGrandles continued: “Strong partnerships with the police, Glasgow City Council and housing providers help us reach those who may be at risk but the public also have an absolutely vital role to play in protecting the city.
“Anyone who knows a friend, relative or neighbour who could use our help to stay safe could prevent a tragedy just by putting us in touch with them.”
Free home fire safety visits are available by calling 0800 073 1999, texting ‘FIRE’ to 80800 or filling in a form at www.firescotland.gov.uk.