The 2008 national statistics and analysis in detail on fires, casualties and false alarms attended by fire and rescue services in the United Kingdom were released on Friday 26 November 2010 under the auspices of the UK Statistics Authority.
The main points in the publication are:
- the majority of fire-related deaths occur in dwelling fires (3/4 in 2008); the highest fire fatality rates were for people aged 80 or over, and for males, and in Scotland
- smoke alarms were absent from the fire area in 38% of dwelling fires (18,600 fires); of the total of 353 dwelling fires fatalities in the UK in 2008, 130 (37%) were in fires where there was no smoke alarm present, and a further 100 (28%) where a smoke alarm was present but did not operate
- the proportion of households with a working smoke alarm increased rapidly from 8% in 1988 to 70% in 1994, and has continued to rise in recent years to 91% in 2008
- more than half (54%) of accidental fires in homes arose from cooking; other common sources of ignition were electrical appliances (13%), smokers’ materials (7%), electrical distribution (7%) and space heating appliances (4%)
An errata was published on 19 January 2011. It presents revisions made to data published in ‘Fire statistics: UK 2008’.