Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland house fire deaths down in past year

Fire engine
Image caption There were 43 fewer accidental house fires last year

There has been a reduction in the number of accidental house fires and deaths in Northern Ireland.

Over the past year, eight people lost their lives, one fewer than the previous year.

The number of fires in homes was down by 43 to a total of 923 for the year 2014.

The NI Fire and Rescue Service has welcomed the news, but warned that there was no room for complacency.

Assistant Chief Fire Officer Dale Ashford said: "One accidental fire death is one too many and we want to reach a stage where we have no fatalities in Northern Ireland due to accidental houses fires."

He urged people to check their smoke alarms on a weekly basis and plan an escape route in the event of a fire.

The fire service also offers free home fire safety checks to help people ensure their homes are safe.