According to Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, the numbers of injuries sustained in a fire have dropped by 5%, from 240 last year (2009/10) to 228 this year (2011/10). This is the lowest number of injuries from fire recorded across Tyne and Wear. The number of people who have lost lives due to a fire, however, has remained at three people, the same as last year. There were also reductions in most types of fire: 11% decrease in property fires; 9% in accidental house fires; 6% in arsons.
The Chief Fire Officer of Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, Iain Bathgate, said that although this can be considered an achievement, the service cannot afford to be complacent: "Although the number of deaths from fires has not increased, three fire deaths are still three too many."
Nearly 30,000 homes have benefited this year from the Service's free home safety checks. These checks included: ensuring people had a smoke alarm; their fire escape plan was in place; their awareness of a safe night time routine (e.g. closing doors, unplugging electrics and safe disposal of cigarettes).
Iain Bathgate continued: "I am confident that the committed and excellent people we have here will continue to give their all to ensure we do the best job possible to give our communities the quality of service they expect and deserve."
Fire-fighters carry out free home safety checks at homes where the occupiers are more at risk of having a house fire, such as people over 60, or with a disability, or with young children. For more information visit Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service's home page at www.twfire.gov.uk
14:35, 21/07/11, Henry Bennett