Strong partnerships are protecting East Renfrewshire from fire

Firefighters protecting East Ren
Firefighters protecting East Ren

Firefighters working to protect East Renfrewshire carried out 471 free home fire safety visits in the first three months of 2016.

The latest figures from the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) reveal the extent of crews’ efforts to prevent tragedies and how key partnerships are helping them reach vulnerable people.

Around half of the visits within the area were to homes identified as being at potentially high-risk from fire.

With firefighters acting on referrals from East Renfrewshire Social Services, the Health and Social Care Partnership and others from East Renfrewshire Council, residents are increasingly benefiting from the joined-up approach.

Area Manager David Proctor, the SFRS local senior officer, explained: “Those in greatest need of our support are often the hardest to reach.

“Working closely with partner agencies means we can identify where someone may be at increased risk, allowing us to effectively target our preventative work to help them stay safe and feel secure in their home.

“The referral process between us and Social Work Services is making a strong contribution to this and we are expanding these links.”

He continued: “As part of the partnership agreement our officers are delivering formal fire awareness and risk training to staff from both social work and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.

“A referral process has also now been established with the Drugs and Alcohol Partnership to make their clients aware of the help we can offer.

“Working together is critical to the success of our strategy and the strong relationships are certainly paying-off.”

Firefighters’ preventative work has seen the number of accidental house fires in East Renfrewshire fall by a quarter.

There were 15 of the emergencies between January and March 2016 – down from the 20 that happened during the same three months of last year.

No-one was killed as a result of fire during the period and the single fire-related casualty received only precautionary treatment.

Area Manager Proctor said: “Providing a householder with advice means they can do some very easy things to make it much less likely that a fire will happen in their home.

“Our crews also make sure they have adequate fire detection systems in place so they would get early warning in an emergency and, if the home needs smoke alarms, then we install them free of charge.”

Free home fire safety visits are available by calling SFRS on the freephone number 0800 073 1999, by texting ‘FIRE’ to 80800 or by filling in a form at www.firescotland.gov.uk.