26 February 2015
The number of home fire safety visits (HFSVs) carried out by the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) increased by 26% in 2013-14 (compared with 2012-13), with two in every five visits being to homes with an ‘above’ or ‘well above’ average risk level.
The number of smoke alarms installed as a result increased by 35% on the previous year.
All this activity, combined with other preventative initiatives such as local and national public information campaigns, has contributed to the continuing downward trend in the number of dwelling fires and fire fatalities in Scotland, which are at their lowest level since 2005.
These figures form part of SFRS Fire Safety and Organisational Statistics, a bulletin published by the Scottish Government on Tuesday (26 February) that provides information and statistics on the service for 2013-14. Other topics covered include: stations, equipment, workforce and attacks on personnel at incidents.
Assistant Chief Officer Lewis Ramsay, SFRS’s Director of Prevention and Protection, said: “Since Scotland’s eight fire and rescue services merged to form the SFRS in April 2013, our staff have been devoted to providing Scotland with a world-class service that protects us from fire and prevents harm to our communities caused by fire.
“As the statistics show, the unification of eight fire services has better served our communities in terms of preventing fires, making cost efficiency savings and educating the public as to how to prevent fires in the first place.
“I am very pleased to see that in 2013/14, SFRS provided the public with over 70,000 home fire safety visits – this was an outstanding 26% increase in comparison to the year before. Forty per cent were carried out in homes which were ‘above’ or ‘well above’ the average risk level.”
Meanwhile, the Minister for Community Safety, Paul Wheelhouse, welcomed a drop in the number of attacks on SFRS personnel (from 81 the previous year to 69 in 2013-14).
“I am extremely pleased to see that attacks on Scottish firefighters are decreasing but there is still more work to be done,” he said.
“Even one attack on the hardworking men and women who often put their own lives at risk to keep the people of Scotland safe is one too many.
“All public-facing staff should feel able to do their job without fear of attack and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service is no exception. This Government is fully committed to providing the SFRS with the support they need so they can continue to reduce the number of fires and fire related injuries in our communities.”
In a bid to remove potential fire hazards, commercial buildings and non-domestic premises in Scotland are already forced to carry out a fire safety risk assessment under the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005, in conjunction with the Fire Safety (Scotland) Regulations 2006, if the assessment is thought to have been carried out to an insufficient extent, the enforcing authority has the power to prosecute the Dutyholder.