THE number of house fires in the county has dropped over the last year — but fire-related deaths have increased, a new report reveals.
South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue’s annual corporate performance report said there had been 72 fewer property fires, 59 less accidental house fires and 86 less automated fire alarms in 2018/19 compared to the previous year.
But there has been a slight increase in fire deaths and serious injuries — and the majority of deaths were people aged over 60.
The report also showed there was a big spike in the number of small deliberate fires, like grass and rubbish blazes, following one of the hottest summers in years — an increase of 660 compared to the previous year.
The fire service also carried out more than 12,000 home safety checks, where staff visit a person’s home to offer safety advice and fit smoke alarms where needed.
Area manager for South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue, 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 Mr Helps admitted “there is still more to do” and said the fire service was continuing to call on partners to help them protect the most vulnerable across the area.
The figures are included in the service’s annual corporate performance report, which was presented to the Fire Authority at its meeting yesterday (Monday).