03/01/2013

13 Deaths From Accidental Fires In 2012

13 people lost their lives in accidental fires in the home last year in Northern Ireland.

The figure was released as part of a New Year message from the Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service (NIFRS) which urges the public keep fire safety as a resolution for 2013.

Commenting on the stats, Kevin O’Neill, Group Commander, Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service said: "One death due to fire is one too many and we want to reach a stage where we have no fatalities in Northern Ireland due to accidental house fires and we remain unwavering in our commitment to that.

"98% of households in Northern Ireland now have a smoke alarm fitted, however they need to be tested every week to ensure they are working – that’s the only way they can help save lives. Check that your smoke alarm is working by pressing the test button – it will provide you and your family with an early warning to a fire in your home and give you the best possible chance to escape.

"Ensure you have a fire escape plan should a fire occur. Take time to think about what would happen if a fire broke out in your home tonight - do you know how you and your family would escape safely?"

Mr O’Neill continued: "No-one is immune to the danger of fire and fire does not discriminate – it can happen to anyone of us. Fire deaths and injuries cause a lifetime of pain and suffering, and in 2013 we will be continuing with our work to help reduce such tragedies through our community engagement initiatives."

The NIFRS offers a free home fire safety check, whereby fire fighters visit a property and assess its suitability in preventing accidental fires.

Mr O’Neill advised: "Remember to make fire safety in the home the one New Year’s resolution you never break – it could save you and your family’s life."

(IT/GK)

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