North Lanarkshire residents warned to put out fire risks

Alarm engineer Scott Fernie and North Lanarkshire Council property manager John Apperson
Alarm engineer Scott Fernie and North Lanarkshire Council property manager John Apperson

People living in North Lanarkshire are being urged to fight against fire in their homes this winter.

North Lanarkshire Council’s housing team have joined up with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service’s (SFRS) to warn residents of the dangers posed by house fires.

The council install free smoke alarms to all council homes to help keep people safe and carry out an annual check to make sure people’s alarms are working properly.

Des Murray, head of housing property with the council, said: “During the winter period we unfortunately see a spike in the number of fire related incidents in homes.

“Fire doesn’t discriminate and can destroy lives as well as properties. There are many simple things people can do to help reduce fire risk, particularly when cooking in your home or if you are a smoker.

“As well as ensuring all our homes have fire alarms and detectors, our staff can offer help and advice and if anyone has any concerns about potential fire hazards within their council property, they should give us a call so we can help.”

Iain McCusker, from Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Sadly house fires are still occurring too often and we are asking local communities to reduce the risk by ensuring their homes are fitted with a working smoke detector and giving their homes a fire safety check.

“Everyone needs to be aware of the increased risks at this time of year, so we can all take action to prevent fire striking in our homes and those of people close to us.

“Last year, of the 286 accidental house fires across North Lanarkshire, 54 per cent involved cooking. This risk is increased when people are under the influence of alcohol.

“The fact is that alcohol and cooking are a potentially lethal combination. Leaving cookers unattended or being distracted while cooking is the most frequent cause of fire in the home.

“Most fatal fires are caused by smoker’s materials. Don’t smoke in your chair or bed if you’ve been drinking or you’re feeling tired. If you do feel tired and need to smoke; then smoke outside or stand up and smoke at a window or outside door.

“Firefighters have seen too many tragedies where someone has been killed or seriously injured as a result of a house fire that should never have happened.”

Group manager Paul Devlin, head of prevention and prevention for SFRS in North Lanarkshire, added: “The help of the public is vital in helping the SFRS to reach those members of our communities who are most at risk, so we need anyone who keeps an eye on someone to consider putting them in touch with us to arrange a home fire safety visit.

“If anyone doesn’t have a working smoke detector in their home they are at greater risk in the event of a fire within their home and SFRS are here to help. We offer a free home fire safety visit which is straightforward, takes around half an hour and involves an assessment of risk, together with the provision of free smoke alarms and advice to householders and families, as required.”

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