Residents are urged to cut down fire risk

Area Manager Iain McCusker wants everyone to stay safe in 2016.
Area Manager Iain McCusker wants everyone to stay safe in 2016.

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) is appealing to the public to stay safe in 2016.

Winter weather means people spend more time at home with more house fires reported in December and January than at any other time of year.

North Lanarkshire’s SFRS senior officer, area manager Iain McCusker, said: “SFRS work closely with local communities and partner agencies to keep North Lanarkshire safe from fire and other emergencies.

“But as always, we need the public’s help to reduce the amount of preventable fires we might see in the coming months.

“During a cold winter we use central heating and gas fires more often so the time to fit and test Carbon Monoxide alarms is now.

“It’s also important to ensure that any chimneys or flues have been swept and are in a good, clean, working order.

“It is vital that your home has working smoke alarms, enough so that everyone in your home will be alerted in the event of fire, you should also consider fitting a heat alarm in your kitchen.

“Please also think about friends, relatives and neighbours, particularly older people, do you know someone who has no working smoke alarm in their home?”

Around 1,000 people are injured in fires every year in Scotland and every hour of every day there’s a house fire in this country.

Seventy-five per cent of preventable fire deaths in Scotland involve people aged 50 years or over and since 2009, 107 people over 60 have died in fires in Scotland.

Mr McCusker said: “It’s about making everyone aware of what they can do to prevent a fire happening in their home.

“Our firefighters would much rather be visiting people’s homes and providing the home safety service than turning up when a fire has occurred and dealing with the trauma that causes.

“Do you know an older person and are worried about their safety this winter? It could be a friend, a relative or a neighbour.

“Why not knock their door, look in on them and make sure they get the support that’s available?

“We can all work together to help keep our communities safe.”

If you or someone you know is vulnerable or may be at risk arrange a free home fire safety visit by calling 0800 0731 999 or visit www.firescotland.gov.uk

A range of tips on how to keep yourself and your home safe are available at www.firescotland.gov.uk/winter.