Deliberate house fires in Aberdeen have fallen by nearly 50% over the last five years, new figures have shown.
Accidental house fires have also fallen across the city over the last six months.
Yesterday, fire chiefs were praised for their efforts in tackling the problem by providing education and carrying out home safety fire checks across the city.
Duncan Smith, local senior officer for Aberdeen, presented the fire service’s performance report to members of Aberdeen City Council’s communities, housing and infrastructure committee.
He told members that there had been a drop in the number of deliberate house fires, where a purposefully set fire has caused a house blaze, of 47% over the last five years.
He added that there was a drop of 6.25% in accidental house fires over the last six months.
Mr Smith said that education on the risks of house blazes were behind the fall.
He said: “We are particularly encouraged by the continuing reduction in the number of deliberate secondary fires over the past year.
“Historically, Aberdeen had experienced a large number of such incidents.
“It is evident that local communities, particularly children and young people, are heeding our message and understand the dangers and impact on communities of deliberately setting fires. It’s great to see such a visible outcome from our engagement.
“We would far rather be visiting homes, schools, care homes, engaging with local businesses and providing helpful advice to people about fire prevention and safety than actually attending a fire and seeing the potentially devastating impact that it can have.”
The “proactive approach” was praised by committee chairman Councillor Neil Cooney.
He said: “They have been very proactive in education and have particularly targeted vulnerable people.
“I’m always struck by the professionalism and commitment of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service staff.
“They go the extra mile to teach people the risks and do it in a humane and engaging way.”
To arrange a home fire safety visit, go online to www.firescotland.gov.uk or call 0800 0731 999.