Win­ning war on fire­bugs

Blaze fig­ures down

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Dou­glas Dickie

There have been al­most 300 fires started de­lib­er­ately in Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang over the past five years.

But the num­ber has de­creased for the past four years, with the fire ser­vice say­ing their mes­sage is start­ing to have an im­pact.

Fig­ures ob­tained by the Re­former show fire ser­vices re­sponded to 42 de­lib­er­ate fires dur­ing 2015/ 16, with the year set to end in just a few days.

That com­pares with 46 last year and 72 in 2013/14.

In 2012/13 there were 81 fires started de­lib­er­ately across the two towns, which was a sharp in­crease from 58 in 2011/12.

Sta­tion man­ager at Cly­desmill in Cam­bus­lang, Robert Deans said: “It is en­cour­ag­ing to see the great work of our com­mu­nity part­ner­ships con­tribut­ing to a re­duc­tion in de­lib­er­ate fires across Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang and we are de­ter­mined to see this fall con­tinue into 2016/17.

“The Scot­tish Fire and Res­cue Ser­vice (SFRS) will con­tinue to work within the lo­cal area to tackle th­ese fires at their root cause and re­mind peo­ple that both our­selves and Po­lice Scot­land take all forms of wil­ful fire- rais­ing very se­ri­ously.”

The Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang fig­ures cor­re­sponded with the pic­ture across South La­nark­shire.

In the three months up to De­cem­ber 31, South La­nark­shire saw a 28 per cent drop in the num­ber of de­lib­er­ate pri­mary fires and a fall in the num­ber of de­lib­er­ate sec­ondary fires ( burn­ing rub­bish, grass or derelict prop­erty) to 136 – a five-year low for the area.

Of the 31 de­lib­er­ate pri­mary fires dur­ing that pe­riod 10 in­volved road ve­hi­cles, four were do­mes­tic garages and seven were in­ci­dents of peo­ple set­ting fire to prop­erty.

Se­nior of­fi­cer for South La­nark­shire, Alan Fair­bairn pre­sented the fig­ures to the Safer South La­nark­shire Board last week.

He said: “De­lib­er­ate fires are an un­nec­es­sary bur­den on SFRS re­sources and keep our crews away from more se­ri­ous emer­gen­cies.

“Many of th­ese in­ci­dents in­volve young peo­ple and in­ter­ven­tion work is reg­u­larly un­der­taken by our com­mu­nity part­ners to en­gage with school­child­ren and en­cour­age fire safety.”

Ac­ci­den­tal house fires re­mained rel­a­tively static to­wards the end of 2015 but fig­ures con­tinue to high­light the dan­gers of cook­ing while un­der the in­flu­ence of al­co­hol.

Of 72 such fires recorded in South La­nark­shire in the last three months of 2015 the ma­jor­ity were caused by cook­ing and in 13 cases al­co­hol was in­volved.

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