News

11-05-18

New Home Office incident statistics have been published

The National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) has responded to the latest fire incident statistics released by the Home Office.

 The report, ‘Fire and rescue incident statistics: England, year ending December 2017’, gives in-depth details into incidents attended by fire and rescue services between 1 January 2017 to 31 December 2017. It is the third set of statistics published by the Home Office which cover the Grenfell Tower fire.

 The breakdown of all incidents attended were: Fires - 30 per cent; non-fires - 30 per cent and the remaining 40 per cent were fire false alarms.

 While the number of fire related fatalities have been on a downward trend for the past three decades, this year saw a 15 per cent increase, which includes the 71 fatalities at Grenfell Tower. This means in the last year there were 321 fatalities compared to 278 in the previous year.

 There has also been a four per cent increase in fires attended. This was mainly due to an increase in secondary fires, which are generally small outdoor fires and do not involve people or property. 

 Other key findings show there was a less than 1 per cent increase in all incidents attended by fire and rescue services when compared to the previous year, and a 34 per cent decrease over the last decade.

 Responding to the Home Office fire safety statistics published today, NFCC Chair Roy Wilsher 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.” 

 The statistics are sourced from the Home Office’s online Incident Recording System (IRS), which allows FRSs to complete an incident form for every incident attended. This includes fire, false alarm or a non-fire incident. 

The full report can be found at:  https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/fire-and-rescue-incident-statistics-england-year-ending-december-2017

Main findings: 

  • 563,527 incidents were attended during this period. in the year ending December 2017. This was a less than one per cent increase compared with the previous year (560,874) but a 34 per cent decrease compared with ten years ago (854,371 in 2006/07). 
  • 169,588 fires were attended; a four per cent increase compared with the previous year (162,427). It is a 50 per cent decrease compared with ten years ago (336,233 in 2006/07). The increase in fires is driven by an increase in secondary. fires with primary fires showing a small decrease. 
  • 223,383 fire false alarms were attended which is a one per cent decrease compared with the previous year (224,862), but a 37 per cent decrease compared with ten years ago (352,136).
  •  170,556 non-fire incidents were attended; a two per cent decrease compared with the previous year (173,585). There had been a general decline in the number of non-fire incidents during the last ten years. Recent years have shown increases which is largely due to a rise in medical incidents attended. 
  • The recent decrease in non-fire incidents is mainly due to a decline in emergency medical responding linked to many of the trials stopping in September 2017. 
  • Fires accounted for 30 per cent and non-fire incidents 30 per cent. The remaining 40 per cent were fire false alarms, which continued to be the largest incident type. In 2006/07 these percentages were 39 per cent (fires attended), 19 per cent (non-fire incidents) and 41 per cent (fire false alarms) 
  • The number of fire-related fatalities had been on a general downward trend since 1981/82 when there were 755 fire-related fatalities. There were 321 fire-related fatalities (including 71 from the Grenfell Tower fire) compared with 278 in the previous year (an increase of 15%). 
  • There were 3,263 non-fatal casualties requiring hospital treatment1 in the year ending December 2017 (including 71 from the Grenfell Tower fire). This was a three per cent increase compared with the previous year (3,169) but a 24 per cent decrease compared with five years ago (4,297 in 2011/12).
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