Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government
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Fire statistics monitor: covering period up to 31 December 2007

Fire statistics monitor: covering period up to 31 December 2007

COMMUNITIES AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT News Release (277) issued by COI News Distribution Service. 21 November 2008

The latest fire statistics for the UK covering the 12-month period up to 31 December 2007 show a fall in the total number of fires (384,000) in the UK - down 12 per cent.

The Fire Statistics Monitor is published quarterly by Communities and Local Government and includes provisional figures on fires, fire deaths and injuries, and false alarm calls.

Key statistics in today's monitor include:
* the United Kingdom Fire and Rescue Services attended 803,000 fire and false alarm incidents in the 12 month period ending 31 December 2007 - an 8 per cent decrease on the previous 12 months
* there were 466 fire deaths in this period - down 5 per cent on the previous 12 months and the lowest figure since 1958. Dwelling fire deaths fell by 11 per cent to 323. These fire death figures for the year 2007 are provisional
* primary fires fell by 10 per cent to 144,000. Within this, dwelling fires are at their lowest since 1977 (53,000, down 6 per cent), fires in other buildings - including workplaces and areas where people gather - are down by 6 per cent to 31,000 and road vehicle fires fell (by 14 per cent to 51,000) to their lowest total since 1989. Secondary fires fell by 13 per cent to 231,000
* attendances at false alarms decreased by 4 per cent to 419,000. Within this there was an 11 per cent fall (to 30,000) in malicious false alarms and a 4 per cent fall (to 271,000) in false alarms due to apparatus

The Fire Statistics Monitor is available on the Communities and Local Government website. Also on the website is the latest annual statistical bulletin, Fire Statistics United Kingdom, 2006, which contains trends and analysis for the years 1996-2006.

Notes to Editors

1. The figures in the quarterly 'Fire Statistics Monitor' publication are compiled from reports submitted to Communities and Local Government on fires and false fire alarms attended by the Fire and Rescue Services throughout the UK.

2. Detailed information is collected on all fires in buildings, vehicles and outdoor structures and any fires involving casualties or rescues (i.e."primary" fires). Less detailed aggregated information is collected on "secondary" and chimney fires; so subsequent analysis of them is limited.

3. "Primary" fires include all fires in buildings, vehicles and outdoor structures or any fire involving casualties, rescues, or fires attended by five or more appliances. "Secondary" fires are the majority of outdoor fires including grassland and refuse fires unless they involve casualties or rescues, property loss or five or more appliances attend. They include fires in single derelict buildings. Chimney fires are any fires in occupied buildings where the fire was confined within the chimney structure (and did not involve casualties or rescues or attendance by five or more appliances).

4. A person whose death is attributed to a fire is counted as a fatality even if death occurred weeks or months later. However, it is not always the case that fire was the cause of death. The latest figures for fatalities are provisional and subject to revision as information supplied by the fire and rescue service needs to be cross-checked against the cause of death that appears on the death certificate. The main area of uncertainty is whether fire was the cause of death in road accident fatalities.

5. Fire Statistics are part of the National Statistics series which are produced to high professional standards, as set out in the National Statistics Code of Practice. For more information on National Statistics see http://www.statistics.gov.uk

News Releases: http://www.communities.gov.uk/newsroom

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