The reduction of fire casualties in Angus is linked to partnership working and the delivery of home fire safety visits.
Local Senior Officer (LSO) for Angus Colin Grieve, presented these findings as part of his latest performance report to the Angus Council Scrutiny and Audit Committee on Tuesday, 7 March.
Latest figures show a total of 14 fire casualties were reported between October and December 2016, which is a 57 per cent decrease compared to the same period in 2015.
LSO Colin Grieve believes that the partnership working in Angus is contributing to the falling casualty rates.
He said: “Our overall ambition is to have zero fire casualties throughout Scotland and the drop in casualty figures for this year in Angus shows we are moving in the right direction.”
“This reduction has not been achieved by SFRS alone and thanks must go to the many partners we work with, to make the communities of Angus safer.”
“Crews regularly visit houses and provide free Home Fire Safety Visits which helps to reduce the number of casualties through early detection of risks and intervention. That is instrumental in contributing to safer communities.”
Up to the end of December 2016, Firefighters carried out 1,542 Home Fire Safety Visits across Angus, to help vulnerable residents reduce risk in the home.
They shared advice with householders to help them recognise risks in the home and find out what to do in the event of a fire, and also checked or installed smoke detectors.
He praised the reductions but added he and his team remain committed to making the communities of Angus safer.
He said: “Although these reductions are welcomed we are absolutely determined to improve safety for everyone in Angus.
“A crucial part of this ongoing effort is our Home Safety Visits, which are open to anyone and completely free of charge.
“As a result of this activity, I’m pleased to say we’ve seen a decrease in the number of accidental house fires and in the number of people injured.”
The report also revealed a reduction in deliberate secondary fires.
A total of 20 deliberate fires were recorded – a reduction two for the same period in 2015, and a reduction of seven when compared to the five year average for the same period.
Anti-social behaviour is linked to secondary fires and the Service works closely with its partner agencies, such as Police Scotland, to reduce this issue and keep communities safe.
LSO Grieve added: “Across Angus we continue to work very hard to engage with young people and educate them on the consequences of anti-social behaviour.
“The Young Firefighters course at Montrose Fire Station, and the support offered to a football-themed project called ‘Pitchin in’ at Forfar Academy, are an example of our outreach programmes to address anti-social behaviour.”
He added: “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.”