Home Office fire statistics released
THE NATIONAL Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) responded to the statistics, which saw an increase in fires attended over the last 12 months.
The NFCC hosted the report from the Home Office, Fire and rescue incident statistics: England, year ending December 2017, which gives an ‘in-depth’ look at incidents attended by fire and rescue services between 1 January and 31 December 2017. This release is the third from the Home Office that covers the period in which the Grenfell Tower fire took place, with 30% of incidents fires, 30% non fires and the remaining 40% ‘fire false alarms’.
Despite the number of fire related deaths being ‘on a downward trend for the past three decades’, 2017 saw a 15% increase including the 71 fatalities in Grenfell Tower, with 312 deaths in 2017 compared to 278 in 2016. There was also a 4% increase in fires attended, ‘mainly due to an increase in secondary fires’ including small outdoor fires that ‘do not involve people or property’. Finally, there was a less than 1% increase in all incidents attended compared to 2016, and a 34% fall compared to the last decade.
In further detail, a total of 563,527 incidents were attended compared to 560,874 in 2016, and 854,371 in 2006/07, while 169,588 fires were attended compared to 224,862 in 2016, and compared to 352,136 10 years ago. Non fire incidents attended numbered 170,556 compared to 173,585 last year, with these increases attributed to ‘a rise in medical incidents attended’, and the recent decrease in such incidents down to a ‘decline in emergency medical responding’ after trials stopped.
Roy Wilsher, chair of the NFCC, commented: ‘The trend of incidents and fires attending has fallen over the past ten years but it is disappointing to see an increase in fires attended during the past 12 months, despite it being relatively small. It is also clear more work needs to be done on addressing false alarms, which currently account for 40 per cent of all callouts.
‘We must also look at the 15 per cent increase in fatalities during the last year; which includes the devastating loss of life at Grenfell Tower. The Hackitt Review - which is due to be published imminently - will make a number of recommendations with regard to current building regulations and fire safety. In addition, the independent Grenfell Tower Inquiry will look at the circumstances leading up to and surrounding the fire.
‘The Inquiry will then report back to the Prime Minister with the findings and recommendations. Myself and NFCC colleagues will continue to work with the Home Office to ensure fire and rescue services are appropriately represented within government, including presenting clear and concise messages about future needs, resourcing to risk, influencing the wider Fire Reform programme and working on the new inspectorate programme. It is vital the communities we serve continue to have confidence in the service they trust.’