Nine steps to a safer home this Christmas


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A campaign encouraging householders to minimise the risk of a fire this Christmas and throughout the year has been launched by the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.

Latest figures show firefighters attended more than 450 accidental house fires in around one month last winter.

Sadly, during the same period, accidental house fires claimed the lives of seven people and resulted in 58 casualties.

The incidents happened between December 7, 2020 and January 11, 2021.

Deputy Assistant Chief Officer Ali Perry is head of prevention and protection at SFRS. He said: ‘Fire is a risk for everyone, but some people are more at risk than others.

‘If you know someone who is over 50 and smokes, and who has either mobility issues or uses medical oxygen or lives alone, please arrange a Home Fire Safety Visit on their behalf.

‘One death because of a fire in the home is one too many. Reaching out to those who are vulnerable can help save lives in our communities.’

A free online self-assessment on the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service’s website is available to everyone in Scotland to find out how fire safe their property is.

On completion, participants can download a unique report about their home, which gives advice on how to rectify risks and problems. Since its launch last year, more than 2,000 reports have been downloaded.

There are nine steps to a safer home – as participants are asked to consider their use of smoke detectors, cooking in the kitchen, smoking and candles, electrics and heating, emollient creams, medical oxygen, air pressure mattress, night-time routine and fire action plan.

DACO Perry said: ‘By walking through the nine steps you can massively reduce the risk of a fire in your house.

‘Taking a few minutes to do the self-assessment and identify the hazards in your own home can help keep you and those around you safe.

‘Colder months ahead this winter mean an increased use of heating and electricity combined with festive lights, trees, decorations, and candles –  all of these can heighten the risk of fire potentially taking hold within the home.

‘If you can’t get online, then get in touch with us through your local station who will be more than happy to offer help and guidance.

‘We want everyone to remember this winter, and the festive period, for all the right reasons.’

The Winter Safety section of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service website has lots of information on how to heat your home safely during the colder months.

Community Safety Minister Ash Regan said: ‘Fire prevention is always much better than emergency response when it comes to safety in the home. As we reach the coldest and darkest part of the year, I would encourage everyone to follow the easy, but important steps laid out by SFRS that will help prevent fires.

‘The free online safety assessment offered by SFRS is an important way to identify the hazards in your own home and please contact them direct if you think you, or any family and friends, might be at higher risk of fire.’

Please ‘Make the Call’ to SFRS to support those who are most at risk of fire. If you know of someone who needs a Home Fire Safety Visit get in touch by calling 0800 0731 999. Or text FIRE to 80800.

During a Home Fire Safety Visit SFRS staff will identify fire hazards and risks in the home, help plan escape routes and provide information about smoke, heat, and carbon monoxide alarms.


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