Firefighters have fitted more than 900 free smoke alarms in East Ayrshire homes – as the number of accidental house fires in the region reaches its lowest level for five years.
The latest figures for the area show that between March 2017 and March 2018, the number of accidental fires in the home fell from 138 to 74.
In an effort to continue the decrease, crews have carried out more than 1150 home fire safety visits and fitted 916 free smoke alarms.
Homeowners becoming distracted while cooking remains the most common reason for accidental dwelling fires in the area.
The findings were highlighted in a report brought before East Ayrshire Council’s Police and Fire and Rescue Committee on Tuesday, June 19.
James Scott is the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service’s Local Senior Officer for East Ayrshire, North Ayrshire and South Ayrshire.
LSO Scott is pleased with the decrease in incidents, but says it is crucial that crews do not become complacent.
He said: “It’s pleasing to note that accidental dwelling fires are at their lowest level for five years.
“There has been some great proactive preventative work carried out throughout the area and crews can be proud of what they have achieved.
“That said, it’s crucial that we do not become complacent and continue to work towards helping people remain safe in their homes.
“Our free home fire safety visits are an effective way of helping to identifying risks in the home and allow firefighters to engage with families and the most vulnerable in our communities to ensure we provide the most appropriate support.
“That’s why we appeal to everyone to check if their elderly relatives, friends or neighbours are in need of this vital support – and to contact us directly.”
Meanwhile, statistics show that deliberate fire-setting in the region is at its lowest level for two years.
The number of intentional fires fell from 679 to 625 between March 2017 and March 2018.
Welcoming the reduction, LSO Scott said: “Deliberate fire-setting is never acceptable.
“We work to educate members of the public on the very real dangers of fire-setting and try to lay bare the fact that every deliberate fire has victims, costs – and consequences.
“I am therefore most pleased that the number of deliberate fires has reduced in East Ayrshire, but, again, would stress that we cannot afford to become complacent and take our foot off the gas.
“We must continue to work with our communities and to proactively educate people on the dangers of fire-setting.
“We will always work alongside and share information with our emergency service and local authority partners when working to combat this issue.”