Stay fire safe this Christmas

Ayrshire Post - - News -

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

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