Blazes are increasing

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HOUSE fires in Wigan are on the increase, according to the latest figures.

Fire chiefs have urged residents to take the necessary precautions after they revealed that figures had increased by six per cent from 2009 to 2010.

Across the UK, house fires have been on the increase and in Wigan, incidents rose from 218 in 2009 to 232 in 2010.

Steve Sheridan, Wigan Borough Commander for Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service, said: “ Although the rise in accidental house fires in Wigan at six per cent is considerably lower than the nationally reported trend we remain determined to drive that number down.

“We work in a variety of ways to try and reduce the very serious impact that these fires have on people’s lives – including our free Home Fire Risk Assessment service – where we will call to people’s homes, give fire safety advice and where necessary fit free smoke alarms.

“We would also appeal to everyone across Wigan to help us in our efforts to reduce these incidents – for example 60 per cent of accidental house fires are caused by cooking – very often when it is left unattended.

“I would appeal to everyone, make sure you have working smoke alarms in your home, don’t let your home become a fire statistic, don’t leave cooking unattended.”

Over the past month, there have been a number of incidents where cooking left unattended led to domestic fires.

On January 19, a 29-year-old woman was treated for smoke inhalation, after she left a chip pan unattended at her home on Beverley Road. A week later, on January 28, another unattended chip pan fire was attended by fire crews at a home on Linney Square, Scholes.

An elderly couple were taken to hospital on Christmas Day following a fire at their home on North Lane, Astley, after a candle was left unattended.

Peter Holland, President of the Chief Fire Officers’ Association, urged the public to be vigilant following an increase in the numbers of fires, fire deaths and injuries.

For a FREE Home Fire Assessment call 0800 555 815.