Smoking materials the leading cause of fire deaths

Some 28 people have tragically lost their lives in accidental house fires in Northern Ireland in the past three years.

Monday, 3rd October 2016, 10:01 am
Updated Wednesday, 5th October 2016, 2:43 pm
Fire, Fire Service, Fire Appliance, Fire Engine, Fire and Rescue.

Smoking materials have been the biggest cause of accidental fire deaths during that period.

Through its news ‘STOP Fire’ campaign, the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS) is reminding the public of basic safety measures that they can take to reduce the risk of a fire occurring in the home.

NIFRS has attended over 2,500 accidental house fires in the last three years.

Over 70% of these fires were caused by one of three 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 starts today and aims to raise awareness about the causes of accidental fires in the home.

Alan Walmsley, Assistant Chief Fire Officer, said: “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 three 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.

“However, when it comes to fatalities, smoking materials are by far the biggest cause, with 13 people tragically losing their lives in these types of fires in the last three years.”