Drink and drugs to blame for 40 house fires
IMPAIRMENT through drugs or alcohol was a suspected contributory factor in 40 house fires in Fife last year.
It was blamed for more than 16 per cent of accidental dwelling fires in the Kingdom in 2011-12.
Fire stats for last year showed that four people died in house fires and 58 were injured, nationally 51 died and 1209 were injured.
Across the country, the number of house fires in Scotland are at their lowest in a decade.
But the Scottish Government urged caution after stating that one in six accidental dwelling fires were caused by alcohol and/ or drug use.
Dunfermline fire station group manager Dave Wishart said, "Put simply, drink and drugs impair people's judgement.
"People become less risk aware and what would be perfectly normal, to put a grill pan on to cook food, becomes more hazardous if they've had a few pints.
"It's not new and I don't think it's getting any worse in the Dunfermline area but I would urge people to either prepare something earlier or not to cook at all after they've had alcohol or drugs."
The latest figures show there were there were 1657 fires in Fife in 2011-12.
This was made up of 632 primary fires (houses, other buildings and road vehicles), 986 secondary (outdoor) fires and 39 chimney fires.
Out of the 303 house fires that occurred in Fife last year, 56 were classed as 'deliberate' and 157 of the homes had no working smoke alarm.
There were 24 blazes in the home due to chip pan / cooking incidents and 21 were down to faulty appliances and leads.
A further 41 fires, out of a total of 133 blazes at 'other buildings', were deliberate with 33 down to faulty appliances and leads and faulty fuel supplies.
Mr Wishart continued, "It's a trend we would expect to see in periods of economic decline, often the background if it's financial difficulties is for insurance claims or if a business is not doing well.
"What's important to note is that we investigate every fire of substance and work very closely with police and the forensic people to see what the cause was.
"If someone does deliberately set a fire we will be able to establish that and the police will take the necessary action."
In the past 12 months in Fife, fire crews were called to 110 road traffic collisions, 52 floods, 12 incidents where people were stuck in lifts, seven suicide attempts, 120 hazardous materials incidents and 17 spills and leaks.
In the last five years it has also been revealed that firefighters have been called 15 times to rescue obese Fifers too overweight to move themselves.
Mr Wishart concluded, "Dunfermline and West Fife is, generally speaking, one of the safest places to live in Fife. As we move towards a national fire service we hope to continue the high standards we've set in Fife."
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Oct 19, 03:07
I cannot dispute this as i do not have facts and figures but emmm i would say that Fife Council are not the best contenders when it comes to checking electrics and wiring when u tell them that u are really worried about light bulbs and expensive appliences blowing up...yes bulbs were literally blowing up and out of over head sockets. Fife Council workman...it's all fine, cant find anythin wrong. Very nice man but not a good electrician. Later got a grumpy old man who checked more and said circuit board needs replaced but nothins wrong with it though, just a bit slow..my outside light bulb needed replaced 4 times in 4 months..loose wire but there was really nothing wrong with it at all. Very grateful that these very alarming faults have been rectified but who the hell knows what may have happened! And all happened since they re-wired when installing new kitchen so....i would not entirely blame fire on drug and alcohol issues. I was on the very edge of contacting health and safety officers since i was not being taken serious regarding 'electrical issues' Nasty business!!
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