The National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) has responded to the latest statistics from the Home Office, which show a 14 per cent increase in the number of fires attended by fire and rescue services across England.
The figures also reveal a 7 per cent increase in the number of incidents attended.
Fires accounted for 31 per cent of all incidents compared with 30 per cent for non-fire incidents. The remaining 39 per cent were fire false alarms, which continued to be the largest incident type.
While the overall trend of fires and incidents remain on the decrease (over a ten-year period), the NFCC expressed its concern to at the reported increases.
Roy Wilsher, Chair of the National Fire Chiefs Council, said: “It is disappointing to see fires and incidents are on the increase. Local fire and rescue services are working hard to prevent the number of fires in their communities.
“It is essential this work continues and these figures show the continued local fire risk that fire services need to address through their work.
“Recent Home Office statistics showed the number of firefighters had fallen by 21 per cent since 2010/2011. The communities we serve need to have complete confidence in their emergency services and I hope the government takes this into account in its forthcoming budget and autumn statement announcement.
“NFCC colleagues will continue to work closely with the Home Office on all aspects of fire, and the Fire Reform programme.”
The full report can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/fire-and-rescue-incident-statistics-england-july-2016-to-june-2017