Western Isles top the list for fire safety in festive period

Fire officers undertaking BA training in a live exercise.Fire officers undertaking BA training in a live exercise.
Fire officers undertaking BA training in a live exercise.
The Western Isles is among three Scottish councils to have reported no fires this time last year, latest figures show.

The statistics, published by the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, showed that Na h-Eileanan Siar, Orkney Islands and the Shetlands reported no fires between December 9, 2019 and January 13, 2020.

They were the only areas to report so, with Glasgow and Edinburgh each disclosing 66 and 49 respectively in the space of a month.

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The Service aims to increase public awareness of the dangers of fires in the home and hope to reduce the number of fires at Christmas time.

The numbers show there were 446 accidental fires in homes across Scotland last Christmas, resulting in six deaths and 56 casualties.

The statistics went on to tell that almost 34% of injuries sustained were to those aged 60 or over.

The SFRS released a statement reminding people to identify vulnerable family or friends to firefighters in an effort to keep everyone safe.

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The Service launched their Make The Call campaign earlier this year and asked for those with family more at risk of fire to contact them and make them aware of the issue.

The SFRS warns that increased use of heating and electrics over the colder months combined with festive decorations, Christmas trees and candles increase the chances of a fire starting.

Speaking of the Make the Call campaign, the SFRS’ Head of Prevention and Protection, Deputy Assistant Chief Officer Ali Perry stated the importance of alerting the fire services of vulnerable residents.

“Every year we see an increase in the risk of fire in the home during the festive season and we want to support families across Scotland to stay safe at this time of year,” he said.

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“One death because of a fire in the home is one too many and the aftermath of a fire can be absolutely devastating for those affected.

“That’s why we’re reaching out to every community in Scotland this winter – please follow our advice and guidance to help us keep you safe and help us reach the most vulnerable and elderly people in our society,” Mr Perry stated.

The Fire Service are offering a home visit by calling 0800 0731 999 to assess potential risks and plan escape routes in the event of a fire.

You can book a home safety visit and view The SRFS’ full advice on the Service’s website and DACO Perry has asked communities to read and follow the guidelines set out.

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The Make the Call campaign is endorsed by Community Safety Minister Ash Denham who says it is vital to keeping safe through the festive period.

“Please keep yourself and others safe over the festive period and follow the advice of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and act responsibility,” she said.

“I would urge people to Make the Call to SFRS if they think someone is particularly vulnerable and requires support to stay safe from fire within the home.”

The SFRS are also offering a free online home fire safety quiz is available alongside a “Fire Safety in the Home – Self Assessment” survey which generates a report tailored to your home, alongside remedies for how to protect your house.

These can be accessed online from the www.firescotland.gov website and is based on a series of simple questions about your home and your fire safety.

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