ACCIDENTAL house fires in East Ayrshire have reduced by more than half according to new figures.

Firefighters were called to 42 fires within homes across the region between April and September 2019 – down from a total of 84 over the same period in 2016.

The number of fire-related casualties has also decreased over the past three years, down from 12 to 4 during the same period.

This drop comes as firefighters in East Ayrshire carried out a total of 553 Home Fire Safety Visits (HFSV) in the area, during which crews fitted 411 smoke detectors – a cornerstone of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service’s prevention efforts to support people to stay safe at home, particularly the elderly and vulnerable.

Firefighters will provide advice on what to do in the event of an emergency and also check or install smoke detectors for free.

SFRS Area Manager Ian McMeekin, the Local Senior Officer for East, North and South Ayrshire, said early warning signs of fire through working smoke alarms are vital to reducing emergency incidents in the home.

He said: “We welcome this reduction, and remain absolutely committed to preventing fires from occurring in the first place.”