Stay fire safe this Christmas
Firefighters have appealed to the public to help them prevent tragedies in the home due to the number one cause of fatal house fires – smoking.
New figures from The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service ( SFRS) reveal that in the last three years 44 people have lost their lives in accidental dwelling fires which were smoking related.
And many of these fires are due to cigarettes not extinguished properly, drinking and tiredness.
Now the SFRS is encouraging people, through a new advert, to get the simple message - “If you’re going to light up, get up, stand up, take it right outside.”
Group Manager Kenny Hankinson is the SFRS Head of Prevention and Protection within East, North and South Ayrshire.
Kenny Hankinson said: “Smoking remains the number one cause of fatal house fires in Scotland.
“It only takes a moment of distraction, or falling asleep, for a fire in the home to start.
“Firefighters see the tragic aftermath of a person dying as a result of a dropped cigarette - often this involves someone who has been tired or under the influence of alcohol.
“Smoking outside your home removes the risk of falling asleep with a lit cigarette AND you remove the risk of passive smoking for other people in your home. A dropped cigarette can smoulder for hours. Taking it outside removes that risk.”
“Too often people are injured or killed when working smoke alarms could have prevented a serious fire.
“Making sure your home has working smoke alarms is vital.
“They will alert you as soon as a fire starts giving you a vital early warning which could save your life.
“Home fire safety visits are a key pillar of our prevention work that help safeguard the public especially vulnerable residents but also families and the wider community.
“These are free prearranged visits where SFRS staff will visit your home to identify any hazards. They will also assist in developing an escape plan as well as supply and install smoke detectors for free.
“That is why we appeal to everyone to check if their elderly relatives, friends or neighbours are in need of this vital support - and to contact us directly.”
To register for a Home Fire Safety visit call the SFRS freephone number: 0800 0731 999, text FIRE to 80800.
Advice Group Manager Kenny Hankinson