04 May 2017
Of the 529,000 incidents attended by Fire and Rescue Services in England last year, 40% (214,000) were false alarms, according to new figures released by the Government.
The figures also show an upswing in ‘non-fire incidents’ attended by crews, largely attributed to a spike in attending medical emergencies.
Some of the key findings include:
- The overall increase of 5 per cent in fires in 2015/16 may be in part driven by an 8 per cent increase in deliberate fires since 2014/15, which account for 45 per cent of all fires.
- In 2015/16 there were 303 fire related fatalities and 7,661 casualties in fires. For every million people in England, there were 5.5 fire related fatalities in 2015/16. This fatality rate was 11.6 people for those 65 to 79 years old and 19.5 for those 80 years and over.
- Smokers’ materials (such as cigarettes, cigars or pipe tobacco) were the source of ignition in 7 per cent of accidental dwelling fires and 9 per cent of dwelling fire non-fatal casualties in 2015/16. In contrast, smokers’ materials were the source of ignition in 36 per cent of fatalities in accidental dwelling fires in 2015/16, and was by far the largest ignition category involved in accidental dwelling fire-related fatalities.
- Fires where a smoke alarm was not present accounted for 28 per cent of all dwelling fires and 33 per cent (76) of all dwelling fire fatalities in 2015/16. This is in the context of 11 per cent of dwellings not having a working smoke alarm in 2015/16 (the latest year for which data are available).
- Mains powered alarms continue to have a lower “failure rate” than battery powered alarms. Twenty-one per cent of mains powered smoke alarms and 38 per cent of battery powered smoke alarms failed to operate in dwelling fires in 2015/16 in England.