Fall in the number of accidental house fires in Fife

Fife has revealed a significant fall in the number of accidental house fires in the area.
Fife has revealed a significant fall in the number of accidental house fires in the area.

Fife has revealed a significant fall in the number of accidental house fires in the area.

Iain Vincent, local senior officer (LSO) for Fife, presented the latest Performance Report to members of the Fife Council safer communities committee recently.

The newly released figures, show there was a 10 per cent reduction, based on the previous three year average, in accidental house fires in Fife between April and September this year.

The figures show there were 3144 home fire safety visits delivered across Fife from April to September 2016 – 26 per cent above target.

SFRS works closely with partner agencies and communities to reduce the number of house fires through the delivery of targeted visits.

As part of these visits, fire safety advice is given on a number of home fire safety risk areas; for example leaving cooking unattended, a fire escape plan and testing and maintaining smoke detectors.

LSO Vincent said: “We continue to work directly with our partners to ensure those who are most at risk or vulnerable from fire or harm in the home are identified and that appropriate risk reduction measures are put in place.

“Crews regularly visit houses and provide free Home Fire Safety Visits which helps to reduce the number of casualties through early detection and intervention.”

Figures also show a continued reduction in deliberate fires from the previous year.

LSO Vincent said: “It is pleasing to note that deliberate fires are still falling. Local managers have been working closely with partner agencies to identify those responsible to reduce incidents of this type. Where young people are identified, they are referred to our prevention team and where appropriate, part of our ‘DiversiFIRE’ intervention programme.”

He added: “A number of initiatives have been undertaken to reduce these incidents such as school visitations, community clean-up activities, engaging with youth groups and business premises.”

SFRS attendance at road traffic collisions in the Fife area saw an increase of 91 compared to the 72 in the same period last year. Just over half of these involved limited action from our crews.

Overall, non-fire related incidents (including road traffic collisions, flooding and medical assistance) attributed to 25 per cent of all call outs in Fife over this quarter. LSO Vincent said: “Our firefighters are now attending a higher number of incidents where they are providing support to the Scottish Ambulance Service or Police Scotland.”

“This type of service will continue to be supported by SFRS crews in the future as we continue to develop cross emergency service support to ensure we safeguard or communities’ wellbeing.”

Responses to, and attendance at Unwanted Fire Alarms Signals (UFAS) remain at a high level as a proportion of the incidents we attend. We have noted this and continue to engage and work with local partners to reduce activity in this area.

Cllr Margaret Kennedy, chairman of Fife Council’s safer communities committee, welcomed the report saying: “This is a very positive update on the sterling work carried out by our fire service colleagues.

“Reducing the number of people killed as a result of fire has to be our top priority and the exemplary partnership prevention work ongoing in our communities is making a real difference in many areas.”