The number of deaths caused by fires is on the rise!

2nd September 2016

The number of people dying in fire-related incidents in England has seen its biggest percentage increase in over 20 years.

The figures show in a data report by the Home Office that:

    • 303 people died in fires in 2015-16, a 15% increase on the previous 12 months.
    • In 2015-16 fire services across England attended around 162,000 fires - an increase of 7,000 from the previous year.
    • From these incidents, fire services recorded 303 fire-related fatalities, which is 39 more than in the previous 12 months.
    • The number of people dying in fires across England had been steadily falling over the past three decades, with the number of fire related fatalities being 22% lower than in 2005-06.
    • Last year, the fire and rescue services in Cambridgeshire and Cumbria had the highest fatality rates, equivalent to 25 deaths occurring for every 1,000 primary home fires.

The fire services with the highest home fire death rates in 2015/16 (per 1,000)


Source: Home Office/BBC Analysis

The Fire Statistics Monitor have produced a report on fires, fire-related fatalities, and false alarms and non-fire incidents attended by fire and rescue services, in England, for the financial year 2015/16 (April to March).

Here are the key statistics from the report:

    • Primary fires (more serious fires that harm people or cause damage to property) have also been on a long-term downward trend but 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. 
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Dwelling fires are the most common type of primary fire, accounting for 43% of primary fires in 2015/16 and almost a fifth of all fires.
    • The Home Office says: ‘’The rise in the number of deaths is due to an increase in the number of accidental fires taking place in people's homes, along with an increase in the number of fatal fires involving aircraft. The Shoreham air show disaster in 2015 led to 11 such fire related deaths.’’

By undertaking the appropriate training you can not only help to reduce the numbers of deaths and injuries from fire, but also avoid prosecution. Vulcan Fire Training offer a 3 Day Fire Risk Assessor course specifically designed for groups of employees within housing who need to fire risk assess small to medium sized premises, or similar types of buildings within a group of companies.

More information on this in-house course can be found here.