Partnerships key to tackling deliberate fires

The service has carried out 717 home fire safety visits across Angus and fitted 98 smoke detectors.
The service has carried out 717 home fire safety visits across Angus and fitted 98 smoke detectors.

The number of casualties needing treatment following fires in Angus has decreased by 85 per cent compared to the same period last year.

The latest Scottish Fire and Rescue Service Quarterly Performance Report, recently presented to Angus Council’s Scrutiny and Audit Committee, showed that in Q1 2016-2017, two people received treatment following fire-related incidents. This was 85 per cent down on the same quarter last year, and a decrease of 60 per cent from the last quarter.

The figures also represent a 60 per cent decrease over the five-year average figure. There were no fire fatalities.

Colin Grieve, SFRS Local Senior Officer for Dundee, Angus, Perth and Kinross, said the service was continually looking to reduce fire casualty figures: “We are working in partnership with other agencies including Angus Council, Police Scotland, NHS, Voluntary Action Angus, housing associations and local landlords to achieve this and through these links we will continue to develop and implement risk reduction strategies.

“Part of the casualty reduction strategy involves cross partner agency liaison across various home safety themes to provide enhanced support for the most vulnerable people in the community.

“Firefighters carrying out home fire safety visits also have awareness of other issues which might create personal risk while partners receive training on fire safety themes.

“We are pleased that this approach is bringing positive results - but we will never be complacent.”

The quarterly report also identified how reducing accidental dwelling fires remains a priority for the SFRS.

To support this, the service has carried out 717 home fire safety visits across Angus and fitted 98 smoke detectors.

Accidental dwelling fires account for six per cent of all incidents and 21 of these were reported across Angus, equivalent to the same quarter last year but slightly down on the last quarter.

Reducing the incidence of deliberate fire setting also remains a priority.

The seven reported across Angus in this quarter represent a 42 per cent reduction compared to the same quarter last year but a 43 per cent increase on Q4 2014-2015.

Mr Grieve said: “Firefighters, with our partners, continue to work very hard to build relationships with youths in the community to give them advice on how to avoid getting mixed up in wilful fire raising and hoax calls.

“As part of this we visit schools and work with them to emphasise the dangers of fire, of wilfully starting fires and the implications of making hoax calls.

“This excellent partnership working across Angus has resulted in a low number of deliberate fires, accounting for eight per cent of all incidents.”

Community engagement is an important part of the service’s partnership work and a number of initiatives which engage with young people take place during the year.

In May, 728 P6 pupils from schools across Angus took part in Safe Angus, a multi-agency initiative.