Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service is celebrating the lowest level of deaths and serious injuries in accidental house fires in the organisation’s history.
"We're absolutely delighted with the fact that less people have been injured and killed in accidental fires in Staffordshire than ever before"
Peter Dartford , Chief Fire Officer/Chief Executive
Recent statistics show that deaths and serious injuries in accidental house fires have reduced from 270 in 1999 to just 27 last year. The reductions come at a time when the Service carried out its highest number of free Home Fire Risk Checks, whilst also making savings of £2.6 million.
Chief Fire Officer/Chief Executive Peter Dartford said: “We’re absolutely delighted with the fact that less people have been injured and killed in accidental fires in Staffordshire than ever before. However we cannot be and will not be complacent with this. Those at greatest risk from fire are the elderly and the latest census figures have indicated a 25% increase in the population of over 65s in Staffordshire. So there is the real potential for an increase in deaths and injuries in the coming years as a consequence of these changes to the population.
“That is why we will continue with our preventative work, focusing on the most vulnerable and would ask the community to support us in our work by identifying those who may be at risk from fire.
“We’re also continuing to campaign both locally and nationally for the increased use of sprinklers - older people are often less mobile and therefore the protection a smoke alarm offers will not always be effective if they aren’t in a position to quickly evacuate their property, sprinklers would solve this issue.”
Chairman of the Fire and Rescue Authority, Councillor Len Bloomer said: “The people of Staffordshire should be confident that their local fire service is continuing to deliver an excellent level of service despite the financial challenges. Yes changes are being made but the commitment to ensuring community and firefighter safety remains at the core.”