FOR the first time in its history, Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service has had zero deaths in accidental house fire during its annual reporting period, in the year to March 31, 2019.

The service has attributed the result to its staff's commitment in working to keep the county's communities safe, and to the residents of Cheshire themselves.

The reporting period ran from April 1, 2018 to March 31, 2019.

Chief fire officer Mark Cashin said: “This service works really hard to keep people safe.

"Since we first commenced home fire safety visits nearly 20 years ago we have visited hundreds of thousands of householders to provide home fire safety advice.

"Currently our firefighters and prevention staff complete over 40,000 visits per year.

"This success is also, however, about the effectiveness of our emergency response and credit must also go to our firefighters who, over the 12 month period, have effected numerous rescues from house fires across Cheshire, Halton and Warrington.

"The whole service has played its part in this success.”

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service advises that most house fires are preventable, which is why it will continue its commitment to high quality prevention and protection as well as emergency response.

The service says this success realises its long-held belief that equipping people with the knowledge and skills they need to prevent fires from occurring in the first place is more effective than wait until disaster strikes and tackling a potential life threatening blaze.

CFO Mark Cashin said: “While we are delighted with this result it is essential we are not complacent and I hope that members of the public continue to think safety first and apply their knowledge to keeping themselves and their families safe from fire.”