London Fire Brigade figures show fires and fire deaths across the capital slightly up from last year (From Surrey Comet)
The number of fires and fire deaths across London has fallen over the last five years despite a small increase on last year, figures from the London Fire Brigade (LFB) reveal.
The LFB were called to 20,770 fires and 100,099 ‘incidents’ between April 2015 and April 2016 – up from 19,760 fires and 95,713 ‘incidents’ in the previous year. Thirty-six people died in fires in the capital last year, compared with 47 five years ago.
However, this figure is up from 30 in 2014/15. ‘Deliberate fire deaths’ nearly quadrupled from three in 2014/15 to 11 last year. Pic credit: London Fire Brigade Half of the casualties in the last year were over 70 years old, two thirds of those who died lived alone, a third had mental health issues and more than a third received care, according to the data in the LFB’s performance survey for 2015/16.
The service’s Our Performance document revealed that more than a third of fatal fires were caused by smoking. London Fire Commissioner Ron Dobson said: “The downward trend in fires and fire deaths is a testament to the incredible hard work of our firefighters in carrying out almost 87,000 home fire safety visits last year.
“However, last year’s increase in the total number of people who died as a result of fire shows that we must never become complacent. “Far too many old and vulnerable people are dying unnecessarily in avoidable fires either because they have mobility issues and may struggle to raise the alarm or their home lacks appropriate fire detection.
“In nearly half of fire deaths there was a delay in calling 999 and so that is why sprinklers, telecare and flame retardant bedding is so important.”