Minister Kitt Launches Fire Safety Week 6th - 13th October

Envirnoment, heritage and local government

Fire Safety Week was officially launched in Dublin Fire Brigade’s Training Centre in the O’Brien Institute, Marino, by Mr. Michael Kitt, Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government today (6th October).

Fire Safety Week, 6th - 13th October, jointly run with the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service, is about enhancing fire safety, particularly in the home. The Minister referred to this year’s Fire Safety Week theme “Fire Safety is your Safety” which he said “puts the focus on the importance of looking out for each other in the community”.

 “Unfortunately, on average 46 people die inIrelandeach year as a result of fire. Tragically, the vast majority, over 90% of the incidents occur in the home”  the Minister continued. Both the very young and the elderly are particularly vulnerable and these groups account for almost half of the domestic fatalities.“ In most of these incidents, a level of fire safety education and awareness could have prevented the loss of life in a fire or limited the damage.” the Minister added. The Minister asked family members, relatives and friends of the elderly to be mindful of the dangers of open fires if they are used this Winter.

While Fire Safety Week marks the beginning of an intensive media advertising campaign to run until Christmas, the Minister stated that it was imperative that “public awareness of the dangers of fire be maintained throughout the year. “

Assistant Chief Fire Officer Peter Craig, representing the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service also spoke at the event stated  "NIFRS is delighted to be working with colleagues in the south of the island and getting across a vital life saving message" adding "Smoke Alarms do save lives and have done so in Northern Ireland.  Sadly, however in 50% of the fire deaths in dwellings in the Province in the last 5 years a smoke alarm has been present but has not activated when needed so it is imperative that when a smoke alarm is fitted that it is tested regularly.  We would recommend at least once a week."

Minister Kitt thanked the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service for attending the event and for their continued participation. The Minister commended both fire services for “increasing their prevention activities this week to heighten fire safety awareness in our local communities”. Acknowledging their valuable input, Minister Kitt stated , “Improving fire safety is a crucially important element of the work of the fire service and I would like to thank senior fire officers, North and South, and their brigades for increasing their prevention activities this week to heighten fire safety awareness in our communities.

                

Media queries:
Press and Information Office,
Dept. Envirnoment, Heritage and Local Government
Tel: (01) 888 2638  (direct) (01) 888 2000

Last updated on: 10 / 10 / 2008