The Irish Chief Fire Officers Association have launched Irish Fire Safety Week 2012 by revealing the number of deaths from fire in the country have nearly halved in the last year.

New figures from CFOA show a drop of 13 deaths from 30 fatalities during Jan-Sept 2011 to just nine so far this year.

After launching FSW alongside Environment, Community & Local Government Minister Fergus O'Dowd, CFOA chairman Seamus Murphy said: "A total of 38 people died from house fires in 2011. Though we have witnessed a considerable reduction of the number of fatalities so far in 2012, one life lost remains one life too many.

"Sadly, many of the fatalities that have occurred this year could have been prevented. These tragic incidents serve as a stark reminder to us all of the importance of installing working smoke alarms and the need to have an escape plan should it become necessary to evacuate."

The theme of this year's Irish-wide initiative, which runs from October 1st to 8th, is 'Protecting People Most at Risk From Fire' and Mayo CFO Murphy added: "Having smoke alarms fitted is not enough, they must also be in good working order.  It is vital also that you and your family know what to do if a smoke alarm activates."

A series of local prevention activities to heighten fire safety awareness will take place around Ireland over the week to promote the following key messages:
• Install smoke alarms in your home to give you an early warning
• Check your smoke alarm at least twice a year & Use long life lithium batteries with your smoke alarm if possible
• Close all your doors at night and check that electrical appliances are switched off.
• Avoid overloading electrical sockets
• Use an effective spark guard with open fires
• Clean your chimneys twice a year
• Keep a fire extinguisher and/or fire blanket nearby and know how to use them
• Use electric blankets sensibly - Follow the manufacturer's instructions
• Make sure cigarettes are extinguished properly - Avoid smoking in bed
• In the event of a fire in your home Get Out, Stay Out And Call the Fire Brigade Out

For more information on the activities taking place visit

Posted 03/10/2012 by