A HARD hitting advertising campaign by Strathclyde Fire and Rescue has been raising awareness of free home fire safety visits and the importance of fire safety within the home.

But thanks to a partnership with the Council's Risk Management Centre, Kilmarnock fire station has become the most successful station in the Strathclyde area by carrying out more home fire safety visits than anyone else.

The Council's Community Safety Team Manager, Charlie Mallon had been asked by Kilmarnock Station Commander, Stephen Logan, to help publicise the free home fire safety visits that are on offer in our area. Charlie decided to utilise the Housing Repairs helpline so that at the end of each call tenants were asked if they wished a free visit from the fire service. If they accepted an email was then sent to Strathclyde Fire and Rescue who in turn made an appointment with the tenant.

This simple but very effective partnership working initiative has meant that in just three months 564 tenants have benefitted from a free home fire safety visit!

Councillor Tom Cook, Depute Leader and Spokesperson for Improving Community Safety said: "Sometimes the simplest ideas are the best. By utilising the Housing Repair helpline, our call handlers were able to easily pass tenant's details, with their permission, to Fire and Rescue for them to follow up. When you see the devastation that a fire can cause it is essential that local people take precautions to protect their homes, their belongings and of course themselves!" Stephen Logan said: "The statistics speak for themselves - every 7 days someone in Scotland is killed in a house fire. Most are overcome by smoke, some die from burns. And every single day of the year, five people are injured in house fires. By working with Charlie's team at the Risk Management Centre we have already reached 564 homes, providing them with information and free smoke alarms. This is just the beginning; we will continue to work closely with the Council to ensure that we reach as many people as possible."