Public urged to consider fire safety over Christmas

THE public has been urged to consider fire safety this Christmas by taking extra care with electrical appliances in their homes.

The plea comes from Richard O’Donnell, boss of one of Scotland’s all-trades reinstatement companies Insurepair, after he was called out to an unprecedented five fire-ravaged properties in one day.

All the homes, which are located in the Borders, had suffered significant damage, and will now be uninhabitable for months.

One of the properties affected by fire. The public are being urged to consider fire safety over the Christmas period.
One of the properties affected by fire.

The Edinburgh-based fire and flood restoration specialists have been working around the clock since last week’s incidents in Selkirk, Jedburgh and Hawick and for those affected, it’s a traumatic time.

“We might get a handful of instructions per month to properties which have been affected by fire but last week myself and my team of surveyors had to visit five houses on the same day which had all been badly damaged,” said Mr O’Donnell.

“We were fortunate to be awarded the reinstatement contracts for all five properties by the loss adjusting firm and the team is working extremely hard to get the homes back to their pre-incident conditions.

“Thankfully nobody was hurt in these incidents but recovering from fire or flood damage is a stressful experience for anyone and it can be heart-breaking to see homes so badly damaged, especially at this time of year.

“The festive period is a special time when families come together and enjoy themselves, put up Christmas trees, lights and decorations.

“But when a fire breaks out, invariably it’s not just one room that is affected.

“There is more chance of something going wrong at this time of year and having seen the upset and distress it causes, I’d ask everyone to be extra vigilant when it comes to switching off everything.”

From its headquarters in Edinburgh, Insurepair carries out insurance repairs, renovations and property maintenance throughout the Lothians, Fife, the Borders and central Scotland.

Privately owned, it is approved and accredited by major insurance companies, loss adjusters and building repair networks throughout the UK. More information can be found at