Report: Fire deaths are at lowest levels ever recorded

Statistics released today (August 20th, 2015) show that fire deaths in England have fallen, meaning the number of fatalities recorded are the lowest they have ever been.

The number of fatalities is six per cent lower than last year (258 compared to 274 the previous year) and 30 per cent lower than ten years ago.

The 2014-15 data show a continuation of the long-term decreasing trend in the number of fatalities, casualties and incidents attended by fire and rescue services.

The report ‘Fire Statistics Monitor: England, April 2014 to March 2015’ is published annually by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG). Including a range of statistics, it looks at fire fatalities, non fatal casualties and incidents attended by fire and rescue services across England.

While CFOA is pleased that statistics show fire fatalities are continuing to fall and evidence of a long-term downward trend since the mid-1980s, there are areas for concern.

This year’s data shows 44 per cent of all incidents attended were false alarms, which is a 1 per cent increase on last year. This means Fire and Rescue Services (FRSs) are continuing to attend more false alarms than fires, which has been the case year-on-year since 2004-2005.

In addition, deliberate fires accounted for 44 per cent of all fires attended, which equates to 68,400. While this is 12 per cent lower than the previous year and indicates prevention and education techniques are proving successful, more still needs to be done in this area to see a further reduction in future years.

You can see the full report which contains an in-depth breakdown – including 40 reference data tables, many of which contain data at local level. They can also be downloaded.

Key highlights from the report:

  • 63% of all fire fatalities were in accidental dwelling fires: 163 in 2014-15. 10% lower than 2013-14 and the lowest to date
  • There were 3,235 non-fatal fire hospital casualties. This figure is 6% and 55% lower than one year and ten years earlier respectively
  • There were 28,200 accidental dwelling fires in 2014-15. This is 1% lower than the previous year, and 26%  lower than ten years ago
  • FRSs attended 154,700 fires in England in 2014-15. This is the second lowest number of fire incidents recorded. It is a 10% decrease on last year, and under half the figure of ten years ago
  • 31% of all incidents attended were fires
  • Secondary fires (mainly outdoor fires) made up over half of all fires attended
  • FRSs attended 125,000 non-fire incidents, a decrease of 5% compared to 2013-14
  • Road traffic accidents continue to account for the largest proportion (one fifth) of non-fire related incidents, an increase of 3% on the previous year
  • Medical incidents accounted for 13 per cent of non-fire incidents, up 16%, with the vast majority as co-responders
  • 12,300 flooding incidents accounted for 10% of all non-fire incidents
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