Fire­fight­ers re­lease blaze sta­tis­tics

West Lothian Courier - - News -

Fire­fight­ers tack­led over 440 de­lib­er­ate fires that were set in West Loth­ian over a six-month pe­riod this year.

scot­tish Fire and res­cue ser­vice (sFrs) at­tended a to­tal of 448 de­lib­er­ate fires be­tween april and septem­ber with a large vol­ume of these in­ci­dents in­volv­ing rub­bish, wood­land ar­eas, grass­land and derelict build­ings.

shock­ingly, this fig­ure is a re­duc­tion of 16 per cent from the same pe­riod in 2017, where fire­fight­ers were called to 537 de­lib­er­ate fires.

david Lock­hart, the scot­tish Fire and res­cue ser­vice’s lo­cal se­nior of­fi­cer for Falkirk and West Loth­ian, said:“Ev­ery de­lib­er­ate fire has vic­tims, costs and con­se­quences and we there­fore take a zero tol­er­ance ap­proach to this un­ac­cept­able be­hav­iour.

“We will con­tinue to work closely with our part­ners and our com­mu­ni­ties to pre­vent de­lib­er­ate fires and ed­u­cate peo­ple on the very clear dan­gers and con­se­quences.”

Fire­fight­ers were praised for their work in re­duc­ing the num­ber of fires as the num­ber of ac­ci­den­tal house fires in the re­gion also fell.

Fig­ures re­vealed dur­ing a meet­ing with West Loth­ian Coun­cil’s ser­vices for Com­mu­ni­ties, pol­icy de­vel­op­ment and scru­tiny panel this week showed a re­duc­tion in the num­ber of ac­ci­den­tal house fires from 82 to 76.

sFrs crews in West Loth­ian car­ried out more than 1,000 home fire safety vis­its (HFsV) dur­ing the six-month pe­riod.

Lso Lock­hart said:“there is a clear link be­tween fire-re­lated ca­su­al­ties and ac­ci­den­tal dwelling fires. that is why we make such a con­certed ef­fort in the pro­vi­sion of Home Fire safety Vis­its to en­sure ev­ery­one has ad­e­quate fire de­tec­tion in place.

“We want ev­ery­one to be safe in their homes and can­not stress enough the im­por­tance of hav­ing a work­ing smoke alarm.

“if fire breaks out, a smoke or heat alarm will give you valu­able early warn­ing to re­act and reach a place of safety. and, if you are sleep­ing, a work­ing alarm could be ab­so­lutely vi­tal.”

West Loth­ian crews also at­tended over 500 un­wanted fire alarm sig­nals (UFas) which can be caused by equip­ment fail­ure, ma­li­cious false alarms, or false alarms with good in­tent.

Lso Lock­hart said:“En­sur­ing that busi­nesses and duty hold­ers man­age their fire alarm sys­tems ef­fec­tively can help us re­duce the num­ber of un­wanted fire alarm sig­nals.”

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