Northern Ireland

13 deaths in Northern Ireland house fires in 2012

Firefighters
Image caption There were 13 fatal house fires in Northern Ireland during 2012

Thirteen people died in house fires in Northern Ireland during 2012, the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service has revealed.

The figure was up slightly from the previous year, when 10 people were killed.

Kevin O'Neill, fire service group commander, said: "One death due to fire is one too many and we want to reach a stage where we have no fatalities.

"We remain unwavering in our commitment to that."

He said a number of simple safety steps could drastically reduce the risk of fire in homes.

These included checking smoke alarms were working properly and to have an escape plan in the event of a fire happening.

"We offer a free home fire safety check, whereby local firefighters will visit your home to carry out a fire safety check," Mr O'Neill said.

"Firefighters will check for appliances that could cause fire, help with any actions to avoid fire and most importantly ensure that your smoke alarm is working.

"If necessary we will fit a free smoke alarm for you."

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