Cooking & Cooking Appliances Biggest Cause of Accidental House Fires
Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service (NIFRS) attended over 2,500 accidental house fires in the last 3 years. Over 70% of these fires were caused by 1 of 3 things - cooking or cooking appliances (39%), electricity supply or other electrical appliances
Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service (NIFRS) attended over 2,500 accidental house fires in the last 3 years. Over 70% of these fires were caused by 1 of 3 things - cooking or cooking appliances (39%), electricity supply or other electrical appliances ( 26%) and smoking or smoking related materials ( 8%).
The statistics have been revealed for the launch of North South Fire Safety Week 2016, which runs from Monday 3 - Sunday 9 October, with aim of raising awareness about the causes of accidental fires in the home to help ‘STOP Fire’.
In the past 3 years, 28 people have tragically lost their lives in accidental house fires, and through the ‘STOP Fire’ campaign, NIFRS is reminding the public of basic fire safety measures that they can take to reduce the risk of a fire occurring in the home in the first place.
So far this year *4 people have lost their lives in accidental house fires – while this is a reduction of 43% of the same time last year, it’s still 4 too many. The number of accidental house fires for the same period has declined by 8% with subsequent causalities and rescues down by 18% and 23%. This has been cautiously welcomed by NIFRS and the emphasis this Fire Safety Week is being put on the need to prevent these fires occurring in the first place.
Alan Walmsley, Assistant Chief Fire Officer, Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service (NIFRS) explains:
“This Fire Safety Week we really are getting back to basics and looking at the hard cold facts of the top 3 causes of accidental fires in the home. We want to reach a stage in Northern Ireland where no one loses their lives due to accidental house fires and reducing the risk of a fire occurring in the first instance will ultimately help us achieve this goal.
“Cookers, ovens, hotplates, grill pans, deep fat fryers, microwaves and toasters, all commonly used appliances, have accounted for the highest cause of accidental house fires in the last 3 years. Similarly electrics, such as the mains supply, lighting and cables along with other appliances like washing machines, dishwashers and tumble dryers are the second biggest cause.
“Cigarettes, matches and lighters and indeed the misuse or careless disposal of these are the third biggest cause of accidental house fires. However, when it comes to fatalities, the reality is that smoking materials are by far the biggest cause with 13 people tragically losing their lives in these types of fires in the last 3 years. This is a fact we cannot ignore and is a key area that we continue to address through our prevention and protection work.
“Regardless of the cause, the majority of accidental fires in the home can be avoided with the correct fire safety precautions and preventions in place and I’m urging householders to use this week as an opportunity to revisit their fire safety to help ‘STOP Fire’.
“‘STOP Fire’ is an easy to remember fire safety tool for everyone to use. It’s an instant check list focusing on fire safety basics – Smoke alarms, Test them, Obvious fire safety dangers and Planned escape routes. This enables everyone to quickly decide what fire safety actions they need to take to help keep them fire safe.
“Life is busy however we all have a responsibility to do everything we can to protect ourselves from fire. This Fire Safety Week we are aiming to empower people and refresh their fire safety habits to ensure they are doing everything they can to “STOP Fire” in their home.
Health Minister Michelle O’Neill added her support. She said:
“Fire especially within our own homes poses real risks to all our families. I would encourage everyone to familiarise themselves with the ‘STOP Fire’ message and follow the simple steps and take the advice and help to minimise the risk of a fire and to family at home.”