Firefighters in Perth and Kinross have revealed a six per cent decrease in accidental dwelling fires and a significant fall in the number of fire casualties in the area.
Newly released figures, which were presented to members of the Perth and Kinross Community Safety Committee today, (Wednesday, 23 November) show there were 32 accidental house fires in Perth and Kinross between July and September this year. That equals the five year average.
Fire related casualties have also dropped from 12 in 2015 to three in 2016. Sadly there was one fire fatality in this period.
Local Senior Officer (LSO) Colin Grieve has attributed the falling casualty rates to improved partnership working.
He said: “Our overall vision is to have zero fire casualties throughout Scotland and the drop in casualty figures for this year in Perth and Kinross shows we are moving in the right direction.”
“These figures have not been achieved by SFRS alone and thanks must go to Perth and Kinross Council, Police Scotland and the countless other partners who continue to help us implement robust risk reduction strategies.
“Crews regularly visit houses and provide free Home Fire Safety Visits which helps to reduce the number of casualties through early detection and intervention. That is instrumental in contributing to safer communities.”
Tragically however, SFRS encountered one fire fatality at a caravan at Mains of Errol farm by Perth during July 2016.
LSO Grieve commented: “This was a tragic incident and is the first fatality encountered within the Perth and Kinross area since 2012.
“We continue to develop links with partner agencies with the aim of identifying persons considered vulnerable to the effects of fire in order that we can develop joint risk reduction strategies.
“Our partnership Home Fire Safety Visit initiative and local strategy in conjunction with the development of closer partnership working arrangements has been instrumental in contributing to safer communities.”
He added: “Additionally a case study is conducted following every injury from fire in a dwelling. The purpose of the case study is to identify the circumstances surrounding the incident to enable the development of an action plan with the aim being to reduce or eliminate further risk based on the lessons learned.
“Where necessary our partner agencies contribute to these case studies to develop appropriate care packages aimed at reducing the risk of fire within our communities.”
There was positive news on the subject of deliberate fires too, where figures show a reduction of 11 per cent compared with the same quarter last year.
Deliberate fires accounted for five per cent of all incidents in Perth and Kinross in between July and September this year. Ten incidents involved were refuse fires.
LSO Grieve added: “Firefighters continue to work very hard to build relationship with young people in Perth and Kinross to provide information on the dangers of willful fire raising.
“Crews throughout the area visit schools and work with partners in a proactive way to engage with the target audience.”
Overall, non-fire related incidents (including road traffic collisions, flooding and medical assistance) attributed to 13 per cent of all call outs in Perth and Kinross over this quarter.
LSO Colin Grieve believes this figure underlines the importance of effective partnership working.
He said: “Our firefighters are now attending a higher number of incidents where they are providing support to the Scottish Ambulance Service or Police Scotland.
“This type of service will continue to be supported by SFRS crews in the future as we continue to develop cross emergency service support to ensure we safeguard or communities’ wellbeing.”