Residents of north east Fife have been urged to make sure they have working smoke alarms in their homes.
Protection and prevention station manager Stevie Michie, of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, has pointed out that the service provides free home fire safety visits and fits smoke alarms, where required.
His comments came following a presentation to members of Fife Council’s north east area committee, at which he reported a steady decline in accidental house fires.
There were no casualties for the six-month period to September last year from accidental fires, a first. Mr Michie said this was testament to the public joining Scotland’s fight against fire by requesting a free home safety visit.
In addition, service partners had also referred vulnerable clients for further fire safety-related support.
Over the last five years, there had been a 54 per cent drop in the number of deliberate fires.
St Andrews councillor Dorothea Morrison, noting an increase in the number of false alarms, wondered if they emanated from the university.
Mr Michie said they predominantly came from student accommodation run by the university.
Figures showed there had been 321 false alarms, compared to 298 for the same period the previous year.
Mr Michie said afterwards that the service was working to reduce the number of responses to “unwanted fire alarms signals” (UFAS) at student premises in north east Fife.
“Staff have worked closely with partners, which include the student population, and introduced an online e-learning module that consists of a presentation to reduce activations, along with fire safety advice.
“All new students must complete this module.
“The SFRS has also produced a UFAS policy that was introduced in December.
“We expect to see improvements in areas of high activity by providing advice and education at all UFAS incidents, followed by support from local fire safety enforcement officers where appropriate.”
In conclusion, the station manager said: “We will continue to work with partners and our commitment to working together for a safer Scotland. We will continue to build on our preventative approach to provide advice to people about fire safety.”
There was a 25 per cent increase in the number of fires at non-domestic premises.
Councillor Donald Lothian described Mr Michie’s report as “very positive.”