New figures have revealed Dundee has the second highest rate of accidental house fires in the country, prompting calls for residents to be more vigilant.
According to statistics from the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, there were 233.7 accidental house fires per 100,000 dwellings in Dundee between 2019 and 2020.
This is the second highest number in Scotland after Glasgow, which has a rate of 244.1 fires per 100,000 homes.
In May of this year, a 66-year-old man died after a fire broke out in his home on Forthill Drive, Broughty Ferry.
Across the whole of Scotland, there were 4,887 house fires in the year, 4,364 of which were accidental.
A total of 61.1% of these were started by a cooking appliance, and 71.1% were confined to the original item that caught fire.
‘We can never be complacent’
Gordon Pryde, area commander for Dundee, Angus, and Perthshire at the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service is now urging people who may be more at risk of an accidental house fire to get a free home safety visit.
He said: “We are working hard to support our communities and continue to reduce the number of accidental dwelling fires in Dundee.
“While the number of accidental fires has fallen year-on-year for the last five years, we can never be complacent.
“That is why this year we launched our national ‘make the call’ campaign in which we are actively reaching out to the most vulnerable and isolated members of the community who may be at greater risk of fire and providing them with a free home fire safety visit or advice.
“Our staff also continue to work closely with our partners to refer the most vulnerable people for assistance as well as working with communities, households and schools.
“This Christmas we have issued advice on our website and social media channels to help keep homes safe this festive season and into the new year.
“However, I would encourage everyone to reach out to friends and family who may be at risk of a fire in the home and put them in touch with us and help us keep as many people in Dundee safe from fire as is possible.”
The “make the call” campaign is particularly aimed at people over the age of 50 who smoke and have mobility issues, live alone, or use medical oxygen.
A home fire safety visit would see firefighters helping people to create a fire escape plan and provide information on smoke, heat, and carbon monoxide alarms.
Home safety visits can be arranged by calling 0800 0731 999, texting ‘FIRE’ to 80800 from a mobile phone, or by completing an online form.