Drop in number of winter house fires

HOUSE fires dropped this winter in what is traditionally a peak time for accidental blazes in the home. Figures just released show that accidental property fires in the St Albans district reduced by 10 per cent to 35 incidents between October and March,

HOUSE fires dropped this winter in what is traditionally a peak time for accidental blazes in the home.

Figures just released show that accidental property fires in the St Albans district reduced by 10 per cent to 35 incidents between October and March, compared to last year when there were 39 fires.

But the figures are not as good as the rest of the county where there has been an overall reduction of 20 per cent.

House fires increase during the winter months due to greater use of candles, electric blankets, open fires and portable heaters, and alcohol consumption during festivities can increase the risk of blazes started by cooking and cigarettes.


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In November, Herts Fire and Rescue Service launched their Community Fire Safety Taskforce, which is based at Harpenden fire station, and it has been travelling around the county giving people essential safety advice.

Chief fire officer Roy Wilsher said: "Education is pivotal to reducing accidental fires and a large part of the role of a firefighter involves carrying out fire-safety initiatives including free home fire-safety checks. We won't be complacent and our firefighters and fire-safety officers will continue to warn of the risks of fire."

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County Councillor Richard Smith, Executive Member for Community Safety, said: "The Community Safety Taskforce is a vital tool to supplement the vital fire safety education work that is already being done by fire stations. It is clear that their work, combined with the efforts of firefighters, is having a positive effect on making Herts an even safer place to live."

During home fire-safety checks, firefighters provide advice tailored to the property, as well as fitting free smoke alarms where needed. Anyone who would like to take advantage of this should call 0800 5873347 to arrange an appointment or log onto www.hertsdirect.org/fire

All safety checks are carried out by uniformed personnel who will show an official ID card and always use an agreed password.

* A FIRE broke out within the utility room of a flat this morning (Monday).

Firefighters from St Albans and Borehamwood attended the scene in Charwood Close, Shenley, at around 7.30am. The two residents escaped unhurt.

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