The risk of fire in Milton Keynes has hit an all time low following a decade of blaze prevention work from firefighters.
Since 2003 the number of fires has reduced by 54 per cent while the number of fire and smoke related injuries has plummeted by 68 per cent.
The figures were published this month in the new Fire Service Public Safety plan which is out to public consultation until October.
“We’re delighted,” said deputy chief fire officer Mick Osborne. “But we’re now determined to make Milton Keynes even more of a safe place to live, work and travel.”
The time saved on attending fewer blaze dramas is invested in fire prevention and public education work, said Mick.
This means experts spend weeks investigating city hotspots, such as houses of multiple occupancy, homes that burn more rapidly because of their construction and un-sprinklered business warehouses.
One quirk spotted recently was an increase in house fires among those classed as ‘comfortable families’ – people with enough money to get by but not much to spare.
Fire service research showed these families were suffering fires caused by cooking or faulty electrical goods.
“The reason was simple. The economic climate meant they’ve seen the squeeze over the past few years and they were buying second hand electrical goods or repairing rather than replacing,” said Mick.
“The increase in kitchen fires was simply due to the fact that they were cooking more because they couldn’t afford to eat out,” he said.
Readers are invited to give their views on the new public safety plan , which can be viewed on the Bucks Fire Service website.