WEST Dunbartonshire Council are hoping to reduce the amount of time wasted by fire crews by looking at ways to prevent false alarms.

Statistics from the period October 1 to December 31, 2019, revealed that unwanted fire alarm signals have increased from the same period the previous year - from 96 to 99.

A total of 13 of these took place at nursing or care homes.

At a planning meeting on February 13, Joyce White, chief executive of the council, asked what more can the council be doing to minimise the chances of this type of incident happening - but bearing in mind that not all establishments are council owned.

Andrew Watt, group commander of West Dunbartonshire, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, said: "There are things we could look at such as the type of detector, behaviours while cooking, and position of the detector.

"There will be areas we can make improvements - through changing behaviours or the technical aspect."

Other premises that had high numbers of unwanted fire alarm signals were warehouses and bulk storage 12, primary schools 7 and nurseries 7.

A total of 22.2 per cent of the 99 incidents over the three month period last year took place in the Leven Ward, 21.2 per cent in Clydebank Waterfront and 19.2 per cent at Dumbarton.

Mr Watt also highlighted that the number of deliberate fire setting incidents increased from last year by eight.

He reminded councillors that despite there being a total of 79, the period included Bonfire Night.

Mr Watt said: "We do prevention work in the lead up to Bonfire Night. There were 41 presentations given across primary and secondary schools by the community action team.

"This is work we continue to do year on year."

Chief Superintendent John Paterson, of Police Scotland, also added that there had been two people involved in disputes that had been setting fires deliberately.

He said: "Both were arrested and charged."