‘Reduce fire risks’ appeal

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The Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service is asking people to help protect themselves and their families from the dangers of fire and to make home fire safety a priority in 2016.

In 2015, there was an increase in the number of accidental dwelling fires and the number of fire deaths as a result of accidental dwelling fires.

In total, there were 882 accidental dwelling fires in 2014 and 889 in 2015.

Tragically, there were eight accidental fire deaths in 2014 and 11 people lost their lives in accidental dwelling fires in 2015.

Alan Walmsley, NIFRS assistant chief fire officer said: “Our thoughts are with the families and friends of the 11 people who lost their lives in accidental house fires last year.

“By using our risk-based approach and by working closely with various partner agencies in the health, social care and voluntary sectors, we are targeting those people who are most vulnerable from the risks of fire in the home and providing them with practical fire safety advice to support them.

“People aged over 65, people with mobility issues or a sensory impairment who also smoke are deemed higher risk to the dangers of fire and we will continue to work hard to identify and help those people,” said the assistant chief fire officer.

“However, no one is immune to the dangers of fire and no one should become complacent about their own fire safety – it can happen to any of us,” Mr Walmsley added.