'Overall Reduction' In Number Of High-Rise Fires Reported

19 October 2017, 06:33

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Firefighters have visited more than 1,000 high-rise homes to offer reassurance and support following the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

Fires in high-rise properties are at their lowest level in eight years according to statistics from the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS).

They showed 238 incidents were reported over 2016/17 in flats at least ten storeys high.

Fire chiefs say this is a reduction of almost a quarter on the previous year and 261 down on 2009/10.

It follows the launch of a national high-rise fire safety campaign to encourage more residents to request a free and dedicated Home Fire Safety Visit and speak to firefighters about their concerns.

Assistant Chief Officer (ACO) David McGown, SFRS's director of prevention and protection said: "While the overall reduction in the number of incidents is welcome, we are never complacent.

"This campaign will build on the great work already done by SFRS and our partners, and we will continue to work hand-in-hand to reach those who are most vulnerable, and ensure that they know what to do in the event of an emergency."

In the past year, firefighters undertook 70,743 Home Fire Safety Visits and more than 2,400 operational assurance visits have been carried out at high-rise properties.

The fire service has an agreed Standard Operating Procedure in place which sets out how to deal with fires in high-rise premises.

ACO McGown added: "We routinely carry out operational assurance visits at high-rise premises for the purposes of checking facilities and arrangements for firefighting and firefighter safety.

"We stepped up these visits in the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy and we have specific safety information relating to high-rise premises available on the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service website.

"I would encourage residents to speak to us and let us know if they need support - we are here and able to assist."

The campaign will also actively target stakeholders and landlords ensuring that they know where to find fire safety advice and that it is shared with tenants.

Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs Annabelle Ewing said: "Tenants and residents living in high-rise flats in Scotland should feel safe where they live and this high-rise fire safety campaign reiterates key messages on what to do in the event of a fire and where to go to get fire safety help and advice.

"The campaign supports our work with local authorities, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and others to ensure the highest standards in our building and fire safety regulations and I thank everyone involved for their continued commitment to this."