Avon Fire & Rescue Service saw a 17% increase in emergency calls in the year ending April 2022, an annual report has revealed.
Control firefighters answered nearly 21,000 calls in the past 12 months, compared to almost 18,000 the previous year, seeing increases in all incident types across the community.
Chief Fire Officer Simon Shilton said: “The past 12 months saw a significant increase in calls across the board.
“The pandemic has continued to bring about societal change with how people live and this is continuing to have an impact on the number and nature of incidents we have attended.”
Following the increase in calls, firefighters attended 2,763 fires in 2021/2022, compared to 2,605 in the previous year.
470 accident fires in residential homes were recorded, with most incidents taking place at mealtimes and involving cooking, often caused by distractions.
Avon Fire & Rescue Service have a duty to attend all fires and dedicate resources to reducing risk in the community by preventing fires.
Simon continued: “By better understanding the causes of fires and risk in the community, we can dedicate our efforts to raising awareness of fire risk and keeping local people safe in the community.”
The fire service has increased the offering of free Home Fire Safety Visits to include more residents with wider eligibility criteria.
Local residents are encouraged to request a Home Fire Safety Visit to receive personalised fire safety advice for their home by using the online safety checker.
Simon added: “While it is impossible to gauge the extent of the impact of the pandemic, I am incredibly proud of the Service all of our staff have provided to the community and ultimately, helped us in Making Our Communities Safer and Making Our Service Stronger.”