Scotland didn’t start the fire: Deliberate arson reports down 56% in past decade 


Drop in fires over past decade as authority continue to press for improved safety 

THE SUBSTANTIAL DROP IN FIRE-STARTING has been welcomed by the Scottish National Party as part of ongoing efforts to reduce the number of victims from accidental and deliberate fires.

The most recent statistics in the ‘Fire and rescue incident statistics in Scotland 2015-16’ reveal a substantial 56 per cent drop in ‘deliberate household fires’ over the past decade – with a fall from 1,369 incidents in 2006-07 down to 602 in 2015-16.

However, the report also identifies the high pressure on services from false alarms and a growing number of ‘non-fire incidents’ that the emergency services are called to intervene in.

Commenting, SNP MSP Rona Mackay, deputy convener of Holyrood’s Justice Committee, said: “It is great to see the number of fires across Scotland falling – proving yet again just how effective our fire services are.

“That the number of deliberate building fires has gone down by more than half since 2006-07 is excellent news, and shows how successful the work of the police and fire services has been in preventing these types of incident from happening. And for the number of house fires to have fallen in the past decade means more families are safe in their homes.”

The total number of ‘primary fires’ across dwellings, other buildings and motor vehicles has also dropped by 25.5 per cent over a decade – from 14,758 incidents to 11,005. 

Yet there remains a tragic number of incidents with fires resulting in deaths.

The fire service reports adds: “In 2015-16 there were 45 fatal casualties from fires in Scotland (provisional figures), an increase of four on the 2014-15 figure of 41. Six of the 45 fire fatalities were deemed, by fire investigations, to be suicides.”

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS), which provides a wide range of support on fire safety, is continuing its work to reduce fire incidents.

“As part of our commitment to building a safer Scotland we offer everyone in Scotland a free home fire safety visit. We can also fit smoke alarms free of charge if your home requires them,” SFRS state.

The service is available by calling 0800 0731 999 or texting “FIRE” to 80800.

Picture courtesy of Manchester Fire

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