THE number of house fires in Scotland has fallen to the lowest levels recorded by the Scottish Government.
Statistics released today show that house fires have reduced from 9,811 to 5,820, a drop of 41% since records began in 1990.
A total of 46 people died in fires in 2012-13, a drop of 23%, while there was seven deaths in the Grampian area.
Drink or drugs were suspected to be a factor in 16% of accidental house fires.
Community Safety Minister Roseanna Cunningham said: "While we know that statistics based on small numbers can fluctuate over time the positive downward trend is undoubtedly testament to the hard work of the fire and rescue services in Scotland and their continued focus on prevention.
"It is crucial that we continue with vital education work to raise awareness of the dangers of alcohol and drugs, particularly while cooking, which the statistics show still contribute to far too many casualties."
Chief Officer Alasdair Hay of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service said: "Through targeted prevention activities and working with others we have seen a shift from simply dealing with the consequences of tragedies such as those injured and killed in fires to working to prevent these incidents occurring in the first place. As a national Service we will continue with our prevention and education activities to achieve safer communities by raising awareness of the risks and supporting people to reduce their likelihood of being involved in a fire in the home or other emergency."
Across Grampian there were 2,050 fires in 2012-13, with 127 people injured as a result.