Firefighters carry out hundreds of free home fire safety visits in Angus

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Firefighters in Angus carried out more than 400 home fire safety visits during a three-month period this year, latest figures show.

Between April and June, 452 free visits were made to ensure families and residents were supported to reduce fire risks within their homes.

HFSVs are a cornerstone of the Service’s prevention efforts to support people to stay safe at home, particularly the elderly and vulnerable.

The number of casualties injured by dwelling fires also reduced from 14 to six during the same three-month period last year however one person tragically died following a fire in Arbroath in April.

Local Senior Officer (LSO) Gordon Pryde reminded the community that firefighters are available to assist them to stay safe after presenting his most recent report to the Angus Council Scrutiny and Audit Committee on Tuesday, August 21.

LSO Pryde said: “A single fire-related death is one too many and our thoughts and deepest condolences remain very firmly with all of those who were affected by this very recent tragedy.

“We are absolutely committed to doing everything in our power to preventing further tragedies from occurring, and one of the ways we work to prevent fires from happening is through our free home fire safety visits.

“A significant amount of work has gone into ensuring our crews are engaging with our communities and in particular the most vulnerable, with invaluable support from our partners – and that work will continue.

“We want everyone to be safe in their homes and cannot stress enough the importance of having a working smoke alarm.

“If fire breaks out, a smoke or heat alarm will give you valuable early warning to react and reach a place of safety. And, if you are sleeping, a working alarm could be absolutely vital.”

LSO Pryde also praised the tireless work of his crews in working alongside partners to reduce the number of deliberate fires in the region.

A total of 43 deliberate secondary fires – incidents involving refuse, grassland and derelict property – were reported to the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service between April and June this year.

This is a reduction from 55 during the same period in 2017.

LSO Pryde said:  “Every deliberate fire has victims, costs and consequences and we therefore take a zero tolerance approach to this unacceptable behaviour.

“We will continue to work closely with our partners and our communities to prevent deliberate fires and educate people on the very clear dangers and consequences.”

Angus crews also attended 104 instances of unwanted fire alarm signals between April and June this year – up from 97 during the same period in 2017.

UFAS incidents occur when firefighters are called to an incident as a result of equipment failure, malicious false alarms, or false alarms with good intent.

LSO Pryde said: “Ensuring that businesses and duty holders manage their fire alarm systems effectively can help us reduce the number of unwanted fire alarm signals.

“UFAS can result in lost revenue for businesses and can present a risk of staff becoming complacent.

“It’s hugely important that people are aware of the consequences of firefighters making unnecessary blue light journeys.”

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