North east communities are being reminded that their local firefighters are available to help them stay safe at home.
The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) can arrange home fire safety visits to give householders advice on what to do in the event of an emergency and also check or install smoke detectors.
These visits are free and the service is particularly looking to support the most vulnerable members of communities.
Andy Coueslant, Deputy Assistant Chief Officer issued the reminder following four fire-related fatalities at Braemar in Aberdeenshire, Garrynamonie in South Uist, Lossiemouth in Moray and Kildonan in South Uist.
DACO Coueslant, who is responsible for protecting the North of Scotland, said: “A single fire-related death is one too many but sadly four people have lost their lives as a result of recent house fires in South Uist, Lossiemouth and Braemar.
“The thoughts of everyone at the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service are very firmly with their families, their friends and their communities at this very difficult time as well as our own personnel who were in attendance at each incident.
“We are absolutely committed to doing everything in our power to prevent further tragedies from occurring. I would directly appeal to people to check if their elderly relatives, neighbours or friends are in need of this support and to contact us directly.
“We will continue to work hard to identify those who are most vulnerable from fire and ensure appropriate risk reduction measures are in place. Our crews regularly visit homeowners to provide free home Fire Safety Visits which help reduce the number of casualties.”
Information on arranging a home visit is available on the SFRS website at www.firescotland.gov.uk, by calling 0800 0731 999 or texting “FIRE” to 80800 from a mobile phone.