Scottish Borders Council

Agenda item

Scottish Fire & Rescue Service.

Update report detailing ongoing work and initiatives in the Cheviot Area.



8.1         Mr Matt Acton, Station Manager explained that the purpose of the report circulated was to inform the Cheviot Area Forum on Scottish Fire and Rescue Service activity since the last meeting on 7 December 2016.  The report detailed that during the period of the report there had been 2 House Fires (1 x chimney, 1 x dwelling), 2 non-domestic Fires (1 x barn , 1x industrial)  – Open 2, occurrence of Special Services 5 and 10 unwanted Fire Alarm Signals.  In relation to partnership working, The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS), Community Action Team (CAT) within the Scottish Borders core work centred on the on-going delivery of the SFRS Home Fire Safety Visit (HFSV) policy.  The team continued to expand its partnership working with the Key agencies including Police Scotland, Health, Social Care and Housing in order to focus on members of local communities at High Risk from fire and achieve outcomes in helping to reduce overall numbers of accidental dwelling fires. 


8.2         Fire preventionand protection activity over recent years had been key to reducing the number of fires, casualties and losses in Scotland thus minimising the economic and social impact of fire on communities.  The seasonal community safety calendar provided the catalyst for a number of initiatives and schemes throughout the calendar year.


8.3         Activity which was ongoing within the Cheviot Ward area included Scottish Fire and Rescue Service staffs in all local stations providing Home Fire Safety Visits all year round.  These free visits provided the householder with a home visit, focussing on identifying and reducing the risks of fire in the home. Smoke detectors with a 10-year battery life were provided as part of this free service; The living safely in the home (LSITH) initiative continued in the Cheviot locality, with a number of referrals made by the SFRS to community partners and an evaluation of the trial was underway.  Firesharp was an initiative for Primary 6 pupils, providing face-to-face education within local Primary schools on matters of fire risk and prevention; the SFRS Safeguarding Policy and Procedure for Protection of Children and Adults at Risk of Harm was implemented to link into adult and child protection. The introduction of the policy had created closer ties with Social Services within Scottish Borders and ensured those people and families that fire crews identified as at risk were brought to the attention of Social Services and had resulted in joint visits to homes to reduce risk to those occupiers.  A strong partnership was being developed with the local Domestic Abuse Advocacy Service and involvement in MARAC (Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conference).  The Local Authority Liaison Officer (LALO) and Scottish Borders Station Manager for Prevention and Protection were fully involved in all local MARAC processes, attending the monthly conferences and all steering group meetings. 


8.4         Road Safety Community Action Team (CAT) had delivered road safety awareness to secondary schools throughout the Scottish Borders with the support of the local whole time personnel from Galashiels and Hawick.  Fire Safety Audits provided a targeted examination of business premises and their relevant documents to ascertain how the premises were being managed regarding fire safety.  The enforcement officer also engaged with members of staff to confirm their level of fire safety awareness;  Unwanted Fire Signals were being addressed by phased intervention actions which identified premises which were producing ‘false alarms’. Guidance was provided on how to reduce a reoccurrence.  Crews would move onto the Spring Thematic Action Plan which focussed on the Grass and Wildland Fires and deliberate fires.  Work continued with all partners in the Scottish Borders Council Safer Communities Team, as well as local partnerships, to promote preventative work.   The LALO was in post within Scottish Borders Council HQ in order to improve partnership working, with a particular focus on the elderly and more vulnerable members of society. The primary aims of the partnership activity were to help ensure the safety and welfare of vulnerable persons throughout the community, and to seek to reduce the overall numbers of accidental dwelling fires, fire casualties and fire fatalities in homes. 



NOTED the report.


Supporting documents:



Scottish Borders Council

Council Headquarters Newtown St. Boswells Melrose TD6 0SA

Tel: 0300 100 1800


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