House fires drop in South Yorkshire amid small arsons rise

House fires and false alarms dropped in South Yorkshire last year, a report to the fire service’s governing Fire Authority will say.

There were 72 fewer property fires, 59 less accidental house fires and 92 less automated fire alarms in 2018/19 compared to the previous year.

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue also carried out more than 12,000 home safety checks, whereby fire service staff visit a person’s home to offer safety advice and fit smoke alarms where needed.

But there was a slight increase in fire deaths and serious injuries. With many of those dying aged over 60, the service recently launched its ‘Find The Time’ campaign which calls on those with older relatives or neighbours to take some simple steps to keep their loved ones safe.

There was also a big spike in small deliberate fires, like grass and rubbish fires, following one of the hottest summers in years. It’s prompted the service to ramp up its community work ahead of the warmer weather, including the delivery of a new joint anti-social behaviour schools education package alongside South Yorkshire Police.

Area Manager Steve Helps, said: “We’re pleased that our work to make people safer has contributed to a big drop in house fires. Much of it is down to the targeted approach of our firefighters and community safety teams in prioritising their work at those most at risk of fire.

“But we know there’s more to do, which is why we continue to call on partners to help us to help some of the most vulnerable people in our communities, by becoming one of our referral partners.”

The figures are included in the service’s annual corporate performance report, which will be presented to the Fire Authority at its meeting on 24 June

This content was last updated on June 25th, 2019