Rise in fire-related deaths in England

Fire_StatsThe number of fire-related deaths in England has risen sharply according to recent data published by the Home Office.

It was inevitable that the downward trend over the last 10 years was likely to reverse at some point and time will tell as to whether this is the start of a stabilisation period. Taking one years set of statistics can be misleading and reasons for these differences are yet unknown.

Other key findings from the data are:

  • There were 303 fire-related fatalities in England during 2015/16. This was 39 more than in 2014/15 and the highest figure since 2011/12. While there is an increase for the most recent period, the 2015/16 figure is still 83 fewer than a decade ago.
  • Fire and rescue services (FRSs) attended around 528,7001 incidents in England during 2015/16, 7% higher than the previous year. This increase was predominantly driven by a large increase in non-fire incidents.
  • Fire and rescue services (FRSs) attended around 162,000 fires in England during 2015/16. This is 5% more than the 155,000 attended in 2014/15 but 52% fewer than in 2005/06.
  • Primary fires increased slightly, for the first time in 14 years, by 3% from around 71,100 in 2014/15 to 73,400 in 2015/16. The increase in primary fires was largely driven by an 11% increase in deliberate primary fires.
  • Although the number of accidental dwelling fires was virtually unchanged in 2015/16 compared to 2014/15, there were 24 more fire-related fatalities in accidental dwelling fires in 2015/16 (191) than the previous year (167).
  • FRSs attended roughly 214,100 fire false alarms in England during 2015/16. This was a small decrease of 1% compared with 2014/15, continuing the long term decreasing trend of false alarms. However, the number of malicious false alarms increased for the first time in 14 years (up by 2% on 2014/15) to around 6,900 in 2015/16.
  • There was a 22% increase in the number of Special Service incidents attended by FRSs from 125,200 in 2014/15 to 152,500 in 2015/16. As a result, 29% of incidents attended by FRSs in 2015/16 were non-fire, the highest proportion since non-fire incidents were first recorded in 1999/00.
  • The increase in non-fire incidents was driven to a large extent by increases in co-responder medical incidents, which increased by 83% from 14,200 in 2014/15 to 25,900 in 2015/16.

Source: Home Office Fire Statistics Monitor: April 2015 to March 2016

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