A Western Isles fire officer has urged residents to book a Home Fire Safety Visit to help keep them safe and prevent accidental house fires.
Latest figures released in the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service’s (SFRS) Quarterly Performance Report, reveal a total of 144 visits were carried out by SFRS staff on the Islands between April and June.
And 55 per cent of these were delivered to homes of some of the most vulnerable people in need of assistance.
Free HFSV’s are carried out throughout the year and are designed to help residents recognise risks within their living space. Firefighters and our community safety advocate share advice with occupants on what to do in the event of a fire as well as check or install smoke detectors.
Local Senior Officer for Western Isles, Fraser Burr spoke following a meeting of the Communities and Housing Committee of Comhairle Nan Eilean Siar (Western Isles Council) on Tuesday, September 26, where he stressed the importance of the free service.
He said: “Home Fire Safety Visits help reduce casualty numbers through early detection and intervention.
“They play an important role in improving fire safety at home and ultimately help protect our communities from harm.
“Sadly, four people lost their lives early this year and the thoughts of everyone at the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service remain with their loved ones at this most difficult time.
“We are determined to prevent such tragedies from occurring in these close-knit communities in the future and we will continue to work closely with our partners to identify those who are most vulnerable from fire to ensure appropriate risk reduction measures are in place.
“I urge anyone with an elderly relative, neighbour or friend who may benefit from this support to contact us directly so that we can identify potential risks and offer guidance on what to do in the event of an emergency.”
Recruiting in the Western Isles can be challenging but LSO Burr believes the recent opening of the new community fire station and training centre in Stornoway in conjunction with the fire behavior training facility at Stornoway Airport, will increase the appeal of joining the service.
He said: “We are pleased that nine new personnel have completed their initial training at the new training centre in Stornoway and these staff have now been deployed to community fire stations in Scalpay, South Lochs, Shawbost, Lochmaddy, Barra and Benbecula.
“Joining the SFRS is an opportunity to learn new skills and broaden horizons whilst bringing tremendous benefits to local communities.
“Anyone who is interested in performing this crucial role should visit the SFRS website for further information.”
For further information on arranging a free HSFV for you or a loved one then please go to our website www.firescotland.gov.uk.
Alternatively you can call 0800 0731 999 or text "FIRE" to 80800 from your mobile phone.