Age Scotland and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) are working in partnership to highlight the dangers householders face from fire, and to provide information on how these can be reduced.
We hear from Deputy Chief Officer (DCO) David McGown, the SFRS’s Director of Prevention and Protection. “Fires within the home can develop quickly and they can be fatal while others can cause injury. They can also devastate homes and result in the loss of precious family items that can never be replaced.
SFRS routinely attend fires within the home and we see the consequences of such incidents. So, while we can fight fires we believe that prevention is key – and we will make every effort to stop them from happening in the first place.”
There are over 5000 accidental house fires in Scotland every year. Cooking is the number one cause of these. If you’re distracted, or have left the cooking on to go and do something else, fire can spread very quickly. Very often it is when people are tired, under the influence of alcohol or on medication that a cooking fire results in someone being injured or killed.
Over the last five years three-quarters of preventable fire deaths in Scotland were people aged 50 years or over – and almost a third of people injured through fire were aged 60 or over.
DCO McGown continues “We are determined to drive down the number of house fires in Scotland. Many house fires in Scotland could be prevented by taking a few simple steps. Too often people are injured or killed by fire when, for example, working smoke alarms could have prevented a serious fire. Our staff are working in the community every day providing advice and assistance as well as fighting fires. By working in partnership we can make a difference. ”
SFRS offer a free Home Fire Safety Visit service. The visits only take around 20 minutes and help householders spot possible fire hazards and make sure that their home is safer. Firefighters also help residents plan what to do if fire does break out, provide essential information about smoke, heat and carbon monoxide alarms and identify any other agencies who could provide useful support.
You can cut out the chances of a fire happening in your home by booking a Home Fire Safety Visit, or if you know a person who could be at risk, then please tell them about our service or call us to see how we can help.
To request a free home fire safety visit for yourself, or someone you know, just call 0800 0731 999 or text ‘FIRE’ to 80800. You can also call the Age Scotland helpline who will link with the Fire Service to arrange the visit for you.
To find out more about keeping safe and well at home, please visit www.firescotland.gov.uk