Reduction of fires in new Home Office statistics
THE LATEST statistics showed a reduction in the number of fires and incidents attended, with the National Fire Chiefs Council noting that this was ‘pleasing’ to see.
These latest Home Office statistics, covering the period from 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2018, saw fire and rescue services (FRSs) attend 556,884 incidents, which was a 3% decrease on the previous year. Of these, they attended 159,685 fires, which was a 9% decrease year over year, with the NFCC stating that the fall in fires is ‘driven by a fall’ in secondary fires, though primary fires have also decreased.
There was a less than 1% increase of false alarms attended at 226,466, while FRSs attended 170,733 non fire incidents, a 2% decrease year over year. Fires accounted for 29% of all incidents, non fire incidents accounted for 31%, and the remaining 41% consisted of false alarms, which ‘continued to be the largest incident type’. There were also 247 fire related fatalities compared to 344 in the previous period – which included the Grenfell Tower fire – marking a 28% decrease.
Roy Wilsher, chair of the NFCC, commented: ‘It is pleasing to see a reduction in both the number of incidents and fires attended by fire and rescue services. However it is important we do not become complacent about these figures; at the end of March 2018 the statistics were showing an increase in incidents for the year.
‘It is important we are looking at risks and are continuing to review and focus on these, while ensuring services are resourced to deal with these. It is vital that our communities have confidence in their emergency services to respond effectively. There are additional pressures on fire services which is likely to further increase.
‘These include recommendations set out in the independent Hackitt Review into Building Regulations and Fire Safety, and outcomes of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry, which need to be appropriately funded. We have seen the number of fulltime firefighters reduce by 23 per cent since 2010/2011, which needs to be considered when future funding for fire services is being considered.’