Senior officer praises 26% drop in ‘deliberate fires’

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A 26% reduction in deliberate fires in Aberdeenshire, in the third quarter of the year, has been welcomed by the area’s officer in charge.

Local Senior Officer for Aberdeenshire and Moray, David Rout, said that while he was pleased to note the reduction, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service’s aim was to reduce those figures even further.

SFRS presented its third quarter report to the local Aberdeenshire Scrutiny Committee recently and there was more good news for the area with no fire fatalities recorded within the period October 1 until December 31, 2014.

When compared to the three-year rolling average covering the same period, SFRS has seen a 26% reduction in deliberate fires, from 43 to 32.

LSO Rout said: “This is most encouraging, given the seasonal time of year and historically higher number of incidents occurring around the bonfire period. It is pleasing that these figures represent a five-year low.

“However, we will not be complacent. The recent tragic fatal fire in Fraserburgh simply highlights that we still have a lot of prevention work to do, to ensure our communities are as safe as possible.”

There was a slight rise in accidental house fires during the reporting period, with a total of 51 across Aberdeenshire – an increase of one compared to the three-year rolling average.

Mr Rout added: “This is an identified area for improvement.

‘‘In line with our priorities, as contained within Aberdeenshire Local Fire and Rescue Plan and respective Multi Member Ward Plans, we continue to focus on this area through our delivery of Home Fire Safety Visits, installation of Smoke Alarms and partnership working to identify those most vulnerable and at risk from fire and its associated human and financial costs as well as enhancing community safety.”

LSO Rout said that SFRS’s Fire Safety Enforcement Officers will monitor and review the situation in relation to fires at non-domestic properties, which have seen a 10% increase when compared to the previous year, covering the same period from 21 to 23.

The service’s prevention work in Aberdeenshire continues and there has been an increase in the number of Home Fire Safety Visits.