Smoke alarm could save your life

Whilst many of us will have already forsaken our New Year resolutions Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue Service has a simple suggestion for one that is easy to fulfil and may save your life.

The Service is urging people to make 2012 the year that they ensure their home has a working smoke alarm. The plea comes after a particularly busy festive period for LBFRS which saw firefighters respond to 94 fires and deal with 30 casualties over a 15-day period from December 19 to January 2.

Community Safety Manger at Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue Service, Geoff Aird, said: “In the run up to the festive period we did a lot of work to make people aware that research shows fires over Christmas and new year increase significantly. We know that accidental house fires rise by 20% and fire casualties rise by 33%. You are statistically more at risk at this time of year.

“Sadly this was borne out by our experience during the Christmas period. Edinburgh, the Lothians and Borders recorded 94 accidental dwelling house fires and 30 casualties in just 15 days.”

Cooking was the main cause of the fires (23 incidents) with matches, lighters and candles sparking 19 blazes, faulty wiring or electrics causing 17 incidents and smoking materials 11.

Geoff continued: “This was an extremely busy time for our firefighters and Control Room staff, as well as these fires our crews were also out serving the community in a community safety role and responding to other non-fire related emergencies.

“Once again the causes of these fires are all too familiar to us and we cannot stress enough the importance of having a working smoke detector and exercising caution whilst cooking, smoking and using matches and cigarette lighters at home.

“Many fires are entirely preventable. Why not make it your New Year’s resolution to book a free home safety visit? Make sure your family have done all they can to protect themselves from fire. Just call 0800 169 0320 to arrange a visit and local firefighters will arrange an appointment to come and fit your free smoke alarm and give you fire safety advice specific to your own home. It could be the best decision you make all year.”