Number of accidental house fires and false alarms reduced across East Ayrshire

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Local Senior Officer James Scott reveals positive figures in Performance Report to the Police and Fire and Rescue Scrutiny Committee at East Ayrshire Council headquarters in Kilmarnock on 1 March, 2016

The number of accidental house fires in communities across East Ayrshire has gone down.
There were 71 between 1 April and 31 December, 2015 compared to the same period in 2014 when there were 83 accidental house fires – that is therefore a 14 per cent reduction. It is also less than the three year average figure of 75.
Local Senior Officer for Ayrshire, James Scott, said: “I am delighted with this figure as it shows positive evidence that key safety messages are getting across to the public.
“It also shows the benefits of partnership working to protect the most vulnerable in our communities. It is all about getting the message out there through direct engagement with the public – and we will continue to do so.”
There were also less unwanted fire alarm signals (UFAS) over the reporting period, at 424 compared to the three year average of 442. This is also a 10 per cent reduction on the 2014 figure of 469.
Meanwhile, Home Fire Safety Visits numbered 1041 and SFRS staff fitted 403 smoke detectors in homes.
LSO Scott said: “The reduction in unwanted fire alarm signals is welcome and less attendance at these incidents enables firefighters to undertake other duties such as Home Fire Safety Visits or critical training which supports us to keep communities safer.
“Home Fire Safety Visits are crucial and we would encourage the public to take up our offer.”
 There were also less deliberate fires than the three year average of 498. There were 474 during the 2015 reporting period. This compares to 640 in 2013.
LSO Scott said: “The trend indicates a positive reduction over the past three years and we will continue to highlight the impact on our communities of fire-related anti-social behaviour.”
Firefighters also progressed their ‘Winter Campaign’ to ensure the safety and welfare of vulnerable members of the community - as well as highlighting the importance of kitchen and cooking fire safety and the link between alcohol and fire. This was done through Home Fire Safety Visits and awareness campaigns.
The Service also recruited and trained retained duty system firefighters in Cumnock and Stewarton and are still seeking firefighters for Dalmellington, Muirkirk, Mauchline and Newmilns. Firefighters have, meanwhile, undertaken training in water and flooding rescue across all 22 RDS stations and three volunteer units across Ayrshire.
The LSO also told how crews attended a total of 1738 calls for assistance across East Ayrshire over the 2015 reporting period – including 627 fire-related incidents which fell by one per cent over the three year average.
There were no fire-related fatalities between April and December, 2015.
Crews tended to 19 fire-related casualties. This is against the three year average of 16 – but a reduction on 2014 figure when the total was 21. Half of the casualties were linked to kitchen fires and 58 per cent were given first aid at the scene and did not require hospital treatment.
The LSO said: “There is a clear link between fire-related casualties and accidental dwelling fires and that is why we make such a concerted effort in the provision of the Free Home Fire Safety Visits – to reduce the impact of fire within the home and the potential for injury.”
To register for a FREE Home Fire Safety Visit call the SFRS Freephone number: 0800 0731 999, or visit the website

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