Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service has announced that, for the first time since records began, there were no accidental fire deaths in homes across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland in its 2014/15 recording year.
Between April 1, 2014 and March 31, 2015, there were 366 accidental house fire incidents but no fatalities. During the same period there were 24 accidental fire injuries in homes and 4,232 home fire safety visits were successfully carried out by the service’s Community Safety Education Team.
Chief fire and rescue officer Dave Webb said: “That we can announce a year with zero accidental fire deaths is a remarkable achievement. It’s thanks to everyone in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland and to all our staff who work so hard to protect our communities.
“We mustn’t be complacent however. Fire can strike at any time and we will continue to educate to prevent it, enforce to protect against it and respond to save people from it.
“There were 24 injuries due to accidental fires last year, 24 too many, and they also have a devastating effect on people’s lives.”
He added: “Our firefighting crews remain a vital part of the effort to save lives, and they are ready to respond every time they are needed.
“However the best way to save lives is to stop fires from starting the first place and, if they do start, to make sure people get early warning from a smoke alarm and that they know their escape plan.
“We have a dedicated team of community safety educators to spread this message. They visit the most vulnerable households to fit free smoke alarms and to offer advice. They visit schools to educate children to make sure they understand how to stay safe from fire throughout their life.
“And they work with community groups, charities, universities and many other organisations to share and spread our life saving messages. They are an essential part of reducing fire risk and without them we would not be able to make our zero deaths announcement.”
Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service also have a dedicated Fire Protection Team that enforces fire safety legislation in workplaces, hotels, and other public buildings. That team offers fire safety advice to business owners and works with other regulators to reduce risk and protect lives.