Help cut down fire death risk

Firefighters say they want to help.
Firefighters say they want to help.

Firefighters concerned about fatalities in North Lanarkshire have stepped up efforts to protect vulnerable people.

Twenty eight people have died in fires in Scotland over the last six months and five of those victims were in North Lanarkshire.

Iain McCusker, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service area manager, said: “Many people have contacted us for a free home fire safety visit and these have been hugely popular, but the people who are at highest risk are often the most reluctant to contact us.”

The fire service says people over the age of 60 accounted for almost two-thirds of those killed by fire in 2015.

Free home fire safety visits take around 20 minutes to complete. They are available by calling the freephone number 0800 073 1999, by texting ‘FIRE’ to 80800 or by filling in an online form

Mr McCusker added: “If someone is over the age of 60, lives alone or has difficulty moving around, it can take more time for them to escape in an emergency.

“Our crews can help make sure smoke alarms are positioned where they will give people very effective early warning.

“We can help people understand the risk of smoking in bed or if they’re tired and sitting in a chair, but even if someone just can’t avoid doing this we can work with partners to find solutions and lower their risk.”