Home visits hope to reduce number of domestic fire deaths

Senior fire officer David Rout
Moray senior fire officer David Rout

FIREFIGHTERS COULD BE knocking on doors throughout Moray next week as they take part in a national push to prevent fires in homes of the most vulnerable.

In the drive to reduce the number of people killed or injured in house fires, free home visits are being offered by the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.

Over the last year over 66% of those killed in house fires were over the age of 60, with common factors in house fires cited as smoking, limited mobility of residents and existing ill-health.

Throughout Scotland 28 people lost their lives in house fires in the first five months of this year alone.

“We know that many fires where someone is killed or injured could be prevented,” Moray senior fire officer David Rout said, adding: “Our crews are reaching out to anyone who could use our advice or support.

“The people who are at highest risk are often the most reluctant to contact us. If someone is over the age of 60, lives alone or has difficulty moving around then it can take more time for them to escape in an emergency.

“Our crews can help make sure smoke alarms are positioned where they will give people effective early warning and that everyone knows how to get out if a fire does start.

“We can help people to understand the risk of smoking in bed or if they are tired and sitting in a chair – but even if someone just can’t avoid doing this, we can work with partners to find solutions and lower their risk.”

The free home safety visits take just 20 minutes and can be booked by calling 0800 0731999 or by sending a text message ‘FIRE’ to 808000. An online form can also be completed to book a visit.