A SENIOR fire officer has welcomed a reduction in the number of deliberate fires in Perth & Kinross.
Latest figures reveal there were 20 such incidents reported between January and March – this is down a third on the same period last year when the figure stood at 30.
The reduction is being linked to an ongoing effort to address anti-social behaviour in local communities alongside partner agencies including Police Scotland and the local authority.
Local Senior Officer for Perth & Kinross, Colin Grieve, said: “Although we have seen a reduction, we’re never complacent and will continue to work alongside our partners to do everything possible to prevent deliberate fires from occurring in the first place.
“Our firefighters have visited schools and youth groups across the region to highlight the risks of deliberate fire-setting and these interventions continue to show a positive outcome.
“A great deal of work has gone into identifying and addressing anti-social behaviour in our communities; no singular agency can reduce this on their own so it is very much a partnership approach.”
The figures for January to March 2017 were submitted in a report before Perth & Kinross Council on Wednesday, May 31.
It also noted accidental house fires across Perth & Kinross had reduced by nine per cent with 31 such incidents – down from 34 the year before and 36 in 2014/15.
Of this, 17 of the premises had a smoke detector fitted with cooking identified as the main cause in the majority of incidents.
Ongoing prevention efforts have, however, been linked to the overall reduction with 2,031 Home Fire Safety Visits (HFSVs) carried out by firefighters for the year to date.
This activity is essential in helping reduce the number of casualties through early detection of risks and intervention.
In addition, the Service continues to work with residents and partners to prevent fires from occurring in the first place - and to keep communities as safe as possible.
LSO Grieve continued: “Although this latest reduction is very much welcomed, we are absolutely determined to improve the safety and wellbeing of everyone in Perth & Kinross.
“A crucial part of this effort is our targeted Home Fire Safety Visits from partnership agencies referrals which ensure we reach the most vulnerable in our community.
“As a result of this activity, we’ve seen a decrease in the number of accidental house fires reported and in the number of people consequently injured.”
If you want to book a Home Fire Safety Visit then call the SFRS on the freephone number 0800 073 1999, by texting ‘FIRE’ to 80800 or by filling in a form at www.firescotland.gov.uk