housefireThe number of people injured in West Midlands house fires in the first six months of 2012/13 was almost half that of the same period the year before. 

Figures from West Midlands Fire Service reveal that 23 people were hurt and went to hospital as a result of accidental fires at home, which was down 48 per cent from a total of 44 in April-September 2011.

There were no fatal house fires in the first two quarters of 2012/13, following ten deaths in the same six-month period in 2011.

Chair of the committee, Councillor Keith Chambers, said: “Fewer house fires and fewer people being hurt is very welcome news. I’d also like to congratulate all staff on the falling sickness levels throughout the service. These are impressive achievements, reflecting a determination to keep the region safe in spite of significant cuts to the service’s funding.”

Although there were 46 more accidental fires at non-domestic premises, there were 79 fewer accidental fires in people’s homes - a drop of nine per cent to 804.

Meanwhile, cases of arson also showed significant falls. There was a 50 per cent drop in such incidents involving non-domestic premises (83 compared to 165), while arson of people’s homes and of vehicles both dropped by 36 per cent to 133 and 290.

Within West Midlands Fire Service, staff sickness levels also showed continuing improvements. The average number of days lost because of illness across the whole organisation was 2.4 in April-September, compared with 6.0 a year earlier. For non-uniformed and Fire Control staff it was 3.7 (down from 10.3), while for operational staff it was 2.0 (down from 4.7).

The figures were presented to the latest meeting of the Scrutiny Committee of West Midlands Fire and Rescue Authority by DCFO Phil Loach, who said the figures were "a testimony" to the hard work of our staff and many partner agencies across the West Midlands.

Posted 14/02/2013 by richard.hook@pavpub.com