House fires on the decline while arson attacks increase in South Yorkshire

House fires in South Yorkshire are on the decline while arson attacks are increasing, according to new figures out today.

Friday, 21st June 2019, 1:38 pm
Updated Friday, 21st June 2019, 7:10 pm

The figures, to be discussed by South Yorkshire Fire Authority next week, reveal there were 2,150 property fires last year – 72 fewer than the year before.

There were 542 accidental house fires – down from 601 the year before – but arson attacks jumped from 3,641 to 4,301.

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Police officers on New Cross Drive, Woodhouse, after a fatal house fire earlier this year

Fire chiefs said the increase – following one of the hottest summers in years – prompted the service to ramp up its community work ahead of the warmer weather this summer, including the delivery of a new schools education package on anti-social behaviour, which is run in partnership with South Yorkshire Police.

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue carried out more than 12,000 home safety checks last year, where fire service staff visited homes to offer safety advice and fit smoke alarms where needed.

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.”