Dedicated firefighters visit 2069 homes across North Ayrshire to help residents stay safe

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Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) Local Senior Officer reveals 11 per cent increase in Home Fire Safety Visits

Dedicated firefighters visited more than 2,000 homes across North Ayrshire over the past year to help residents stay safe.

They responded to 2069 requests from local people asking to have smoke alarms checked or installed – and find out what to do in the event of a fire.

And 15 per cent of those Home Fire Safety Visits were carried out at the homes of some of the most vulnerable people in need of assistance.

This means that the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service carried out 202 more HFSVs between 1 April, 2015 and 31 March, 2016 than the same period last year – an increase of 11 per cent.

The figure was revealed by Local Senior Officer for Ayrshire, James Scott, when he presented a performance report to North Ayrshire Council on Monday, 16 May.

He said: “We always prefer to prevent fires, not fight fires.

“We therefore pursue every possible method of prevention and one of those key methods is our Home Fire Safety Visits - as we can ensure that properties are fitted with a working smoke alarm, and that householders know exactly what to do should a fire ever occur.

“It is pleasing to note this increase in our attendance at homes and, in particular, at those where some of the most vulnerable members of our community reside.

“We will keep building on our work with community planning partners to ensure that we continue to support those who are in greatest need of assistance.

“In the meantime, I would encourage our communities to pick up the phone and let us know if they are in need of a visit from our officers.”

Meanwhile, working smoke alarms alerted firefighters to 76 per cent of accidental house fires over the reporting period.

There were 160 in total with over half, 56 per cent, linked to cooking. And 73 per cent were extinguished by smothering or removal and 68 per cent of homes were unaffected by fire damage.

There were 37 fire-related casualties with the majority, 76 per cent, also linked to kitchen fires. And 78 per cent were attributed to smoke inhalation while 83 per cent did not require to be rescued by firefighters.

The LSO said: “It is clear that smoke alarms alert householders to the occurrence of fire earlier than would otherwise be the case. As a result, a significant number of casualties do not require hospital treatment and properties are protected from smoke and fire damage.

“We continue to work with residents and partners to prevent fires from occurring in the first place - and to keep our communities as safe as possible.”

Deliberate fires increased by 19.8 per cent to 537 and most were linked to rubbish or refuse.

The LSO said: “Whilst we always have the resources needed to respond to any emergency, having to attend needless incidents can delay crews who may be needed elsewhere.

“Deliberate fires have the potential to cause harm, threaten properties, damage the environment and disrupt the community.

“We would ask the public to be vigilant and to report any sign of fire raising activity to the police. To those responsible, we would urge them to consider the impact their reckless actions might have.”

To arrange a free Home Fire Safety visit contact SFRS on the freephone number 0800 073 1999, by texting ‘FIRE’ to 80800 or by filling in a form at

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