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Significant drop in deliberate Highland fires

Drop in deliberate fires in Highlands
Drop in deliberate fires in Highlands

The number of fires started deliberately has dropped significantly in the north, according to new statistics.

Between April 1 and June 30 this year there were 51 deliberate fires, compared to 91 during the same period in 2013.

Local senior officer Scott Hay highlighted the reduction to councillors at a Highland Council community safety committee yesterday.

He said: “The service has introduced a number of fire reduction strategies and thematic action plans, targeting these types of incident.

“We are working with partner agencies to reduce these incidents overall and I am pleased to see a reduction during the first quarter of the year.”

Non-fatal, accidental house fire casualty figures have remained relatively the same, with five reported in the first quarter last year and six during the same reporting period this year.

Accidental house fires have risen slightly with 36 incidents, compared with 27 during the first quarter of last year.

Mr Hay said: “The service remains committed to reducing this number further and in turn protect more people from fire in Highland.

“We recognise that the reduction in the number of house fires will have the greatest impact on the number of fire related casualties and fatalities.

“Therefore, we will continue to work closely with partner agencies to identify those households that would benefit most from the delivery of a free home fire safety visit.”

The fire and rescue service have also committed to prevent chimney fires in the north as part of a national campaign.

There are more than 1,000 chimney fires in Scotland each year.

Mr Hay, said: “Making sure your chimney is swept and checked regularly can significantly reduce your chances of having a chimney fire.

“Even if it doesn’t burn the house down, a chimney fire can leave a huge mess. You can help prevent this by having your chimney swept regularly.”

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