How dangerous are house fires?

According to the Home Office’s official fire statistics there were 36,283 house fires in the UK in 2018/19 with 316 fire-related deaths and 1,014 people seriously injured.

What are the most common causes of house fires in the UK? The most common causes of accidental house fires in the United Kingdom:

* Cooking appliances: 2340 incidents
* Smokers’ materials: 459 incidents
* Other electrical appliances: 397 incidents
* Electrical distribution: 321 incidents
* Candles: 310 incidents
* Heating appliances: 179 incidents
* Cigarette lighters: 70 incidents
* Central and water heating appliances: 33 incidents
* Matches: 17 incidents

67% (17,843) of house fires were caused by human factors, and 25% (6,494) were caused by factors, such as chimney fires, faulty equipment or appliances, or faulty leads to equipment or appliances.

Official UK smoke alarm statistics show that in 25% of dwelling fires attended in England in 2018/19, a smoke alarm was not present, or was present but did not work.

The average response time by the fire services was 7 minutes 47 seconds.

It is important to realise that the main cause of death in a house fire is not from being burned but from smoke inhalation. Often, the smoke in a house fire overcomes people so quickly that they cannot get to an accessible exit. When you inhale smoke from a fire, you are really inhaling a combination of toxic products – the ‘smoke’ is mostly carbon monoxide, but also contains cyanide from synthetic material such as rubber, plastic, or foam.

It is vitally important to always having working smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors in the home.

There is always a temptation to buy low cost devices from hardware stores, but this may prove to be a false economy if they do not work properly or are not maintained.

GBSG can advise you free of charge on the right fire and smoke alarms for your home.

Recommended Posts