CHESHIRE Fire and Rescue Service has hailed its teams after it reported zero deaths in accidental house fires during the last 12 months.

The service records its figures annually from April 1 to March 31 and the 2018/19 figure of zero is the first recorded in the fire service's history.

For 2014/15 there were three recorded deaths, for 2015/16 there were two, for 2016/17 there were six and for 2017/18 there were two.

This outstanding result for the past year has been attributed to the commitment of all of the service’s staff in working to keep the county’s communities safe and to the residents of Cheshire themselves.

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.

This success realises the service’s long-held belief that it is much better to save lives by equipping people with the knowledge and skills they need to stop a fire from occurring in the first place than wait until disaster strikes and tackle a potential life-threatening blaze.

CFO Mark Cashin concluded: “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.”