Real concerns over cooking for fire fighters

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service is working hard to save lives
The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service is working hard to save lives

Cooking and kitchen fires were on the agenda when the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service’s performance in the Falkirk area was looked at.

At a meeting of Falkirk Council’s external scrutiny committee last Thursday members heard a report from the Fire and Rescue Service for the period April 1 to December 31, 2015.

During the presentation it was stated the majority of the 92 accidental dwelling fires over the period last year were cooking-related incidents in the kitchen, with most involving elderly people living on their own.

This is one trend the service has identified and will work to reduce this year.

Other priorities identified for the Local Fire and Rescue Plan for 2014 to 2017 include reducing fire casualties and fatalities, deliberate fire setting, fires in non-domestic properties and unwanted fire alarm signals.

Reduction in funding means the highly successful Safe Drive Stay Alive event would have to downsize somewhat with events possibly taking place in Forth Valley College and the Bowhouse Community Centre in Grangemouth.

Officers said Operation Alamo, which took place during the run-up to Bonfire Night last year, was a great success, but during the operation fire fighters found themselves under verbal and physical attack, with stones being thrown at their vehicle, while they were on a call out to Larbert.

Members heard there was potential to share premises with Police Scotland in Bo’ness and Slamannan, while Falkirk Fire Station was to be used as a location for a community safety hub.

The hub will be staffed by representatives of Police Scotland and the Fire and Rescue Service with the aim of giving people the opportunity to report anti-social behaviour incidents, including wilful fire raising.

It was stated Maddistion Fire Station would close at the end of April and committee members wanted to know what would happen with the vacant premises.

Local senior fire officer Gary Laing said: “When the premises shuts the process of disposal kicks in. We will advertise the property or land for sale and then look at getting the best market value.”