Fire safety visit

Fire fighters are urging people across Tayside to make fire safety a priority this winter and they visited Forfar last week to drive home the message.

The tour will drive home the importance of having working smoke alarms in the home which are tested weekly, following the two recent fatal house fires in Glenalmond, Perthshire, and the Hilltown area of Dundee.

Of the 557 house fires which occurred in Tayside in 2010-11, over half (51 per cent) of these homes didn’t have a working smoke alarm or had no smoke alarm at all. In the same year, five people in the area lost their lives and 64 people were hurt or injured.

Tayside Fire and Rescue’s Group Manager Martin Tait, said: “We’re asking people to be extra vigilant at this time and check their smoke alarms to ensure their homes are properly protected.

“Fire can strike at any time and a working smoke alarm can provide you with that all important early warning.

“Fire fighters are here to help and advise people on how to reduce the risk of a fire staring within their home, I would urge everyone who hasn’t yet taken us up on the offer to book a Home Fire Safety Visit now.

“As we’ve seen from these recent incidents, fires devastate families and communities, and we’re appealing to people to take action to help reduce the risk.”

Roseanna Cunningham, Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs, said: “The number of lives lost to fire in Scotland has fallen for the third year in a row, but we cannot forget the victims and families affected. Every life lost to fire is a tragedy and lessons must be learned to ensure the number of lives lost continues to fall. That’s why this campaign is so important.

Of the 6,336 house fires which occurred in Scotland in 2010-11, almost half (49 per cent) of these homes didn’t have a working smoke alarm or had no smoke alarm at all.

People can text FIRE to 61611 to request a free Home Fire Safety Visit.