Belfast Telegraph

Nine died in accidental house fires during 2013

Nine people lost their lives in accidental fires in Northern Ireland during 2013.

The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service has spoken of its ambition to drive death levels down to zero as it urged householders to make safety a priority in the coming year.

Kevin O'Neill, group commander with the service, said: "At this time of year, many will be thinking of what they can do – big or small – to make a fresh start and improve their lives, homes and wellbeing.

"We want to remind those people who may have become complacent about fire safety habits to make this a priority in 2014.

"In 2013 tragically nine people lost their lives in accidental fires in the home.

"One death due to fire is one too many and we want to reach a stage where we have no fatalities in Northern Ireland due to accidental house fires and we remain unwavering in our commitment to that."

Mr O'Neill said: "By routinely completing a number of simple fire safety steps you can drastically reduce the risk of a fire in your home this year and beyond.

"Getting into the habit of checking your smoke alarms are working may just save your life.

"Every year firefighters in Northern Ireland are called to fires in homes where smoke alarms are fitted, but are not working properly.

"Check they are working once a week by pressing the button.

"A working smoke alarm will provide you and your family with an early warning to fire in the house to give you the best possible chance of escape."

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