A north-east fire station is introducing a new safety device to keep vulnerable individuals safe in their homes.
The valve, which locks to stop any gas getting through to the cooker, was unveiled yesterday at Peterhead Fire Station.
Designed to provide extra safeguarding for vulnerable people such as those with Alzheimer’s or autism, the valve attaches to the cooker gas-feeder and allows carers or family members to lock the gas off.
There were eight accidental dwelling fires in Banff and Buchan between October 1 and December 31 last year.
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Most of these start or are caused by something in the kitchen.
In a bid to reduce this and tackle the risk of fires starting, the valves will be offered for free to control who can use the gas to cook in a household.
Graeme Laird, station manager for prevention and protection, believes these will cut down the number of incidents and increase the safety of vulnerable residents.
He said: “It’s a positive step to reduce the number of dwelling fires in our community.
“If someone is coming to cook meals for a relative, it will be fitted discreetly and they can use the key to open the valve, using the gas while they are there.”
To get one of the devices fitted, relatives or carers can refer the individual or household to Scottish Gas who will deploy an SGN engineer to fit it safely.
Peterhead station manager Craig Shand said: “People with dementia can get up in the night and cook which is a huge risk.
“But now, with one of these, the person will get up to cook their beans but the cooker will have no gas to make it a hazard.
“The majority of fires at home are kitchen related so this could be used to protect everyone – like families with young children so mum doesn’t have to worry about kids putting the gas on.”
Firefighters in Peterhead are advising people of their suitability for the devices during home fire safety visits.
They are also available in Aberdeenshire and Moray.
People can submit a referral and get more information at sgn.co.uk