Fire deaths in Scotland drop for third year in a row

The number of people killed in fires in Scotland has fallen for the third year in a row.

Provisional figures released for 2010-11 show there were 47 deaths, compared with 60 in the previous year.

A total of 1,294 people were injured in blazes in 2010-11.

Communities Minister Roseanna Cunningham welcomed the drop in deaths but said too many families were still having to deal with the tragedy of losing a loved one in a fire.

Firefighters across Scotland responded to almost 39,000 emergency calls last year.

One in three of those call outs was to a primary fire – in homes, shops, offices or outdoor buildings, or involving casualties, or serious incidents attended by five or more appliances

Secondary fires – including grassland and refuse blazes – accounted for the majority of those attended by fire crews, making up 62% of the total call outs.

There was a 5% rise in the number of secondary fires recorded but the number of primary fires fell by 6% compared with the previous year.

Firefighters handled more than 11,000 non-fire related incidents, when crews turned out to help victims of flooding or road traffic accidents.

A total of 48,752 false fire alarm calls were attended in 2010-11.

Ms Cunningham said the fall in fire deaths was in line with a longer downward trend over the past decade.

She said: “Clearly awareness has risen of the danger of fire in our homes and in our communities.

“Any fall in fire-related deaths is to be welcomed, but too many families in Scotland are still having to deal with the tragedy of losing a loved one because of fire.

“We must continue to work together to further reduce fire-related deaths and incidents in future.”

The communities minister praised the fire service for the “incredible job” they do protecting the public and she also highlighted the efforts being made to promote fire prevention.

She added: “The Scottish government and fire services continue to work hard educating people about the dangers of fire, and the most important message we can give is not to be complacent and always be on your guard.

“We also urge you to get a smoke alarm and check it regularly to ensure it is in working order. Alarms really do save lives.”

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