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Statistical Bulletin: Crime and Justice Series: Fire Statistics Scotland, 2008-09 Final (2009-10 Provisional)

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2. Main Points

Provisional Data (2009-10)

  • In 2009-10, the total number of fires in Scotland was provisionally 38,658, 5 per cent lower than in 2008-09 (40,570). Provisionally, primary fires accounted for 36 per cent (13,974) of the total number of fires in 2009-10, 59 per cent (22,960) were secondary fires and 4 per cent (1,724) were chimney fires. ( Table 1)
  • The provisional number of primary fires in 2009-10 increased by 6 per cent from 2008-09 (to 13,974). There was a decrease in both secondary fires (10 per cent) and chimney fires (1 per cent) in 2009-10 compared to 2008-09. ( Table 1)
  • Under half (47 per cent) of provisional primary fires in 2009-10 were in dwellings, 21 per cent were in other buildings, 20 per cent were road vehicle fires and the remaining primary fires were other outdoor fires (11 per cent). ( Table 1)
  • The provisional figure for fatal fire casualties in 2009-10 was 59 - a decrease of 5 on the figure for 2008-09 but still the second lowest figure in the 11 years covered by this publication. Of the provisional fire fatal casualties for 2009-10, 51 occurred in dwelling fires and 46 of these were attributed to accidental dwelling fires. ( Tables 2 & 3)
  • The provisional number of non-fatal fire casualties in 2009-10 was 1,195. It was reported that 85 per cent of non-fatal fire casualties (1,010) occurred in dwelling fires, 874 of which occurred in accidental dwelling fires. ( Tables 2 & 3)
  • The Scottish provisional rate of fatal casualties per 1,000 accidental dwelling fires for 2009-10 was 8.6. This is the fifth lowest rate over the last 11 years. ( Table 3)
  • In 2009-10, the provisional number of special services (non-fire related incidents) attended by Scotland's Fire and Rescue Services was 11,439.( Table 5)
  • The provisional number of false fire alarms attended was 51,954 in 2009-10, 70 per cent of these were due to failure of apparatus. ( Table 4)

Finalised Data (2008-09)

  • In 2008-09, there were 64 fatal fire casualties from primary fires, the majority were overcome by gas or smoke (41 fatal casualties, or 64 per cent). A further 10 (16 per cent) fatal casualties were caused by a combination of burns and being overcome by gas or smoke and another 10 (16 per cent) were caused by burns alone. ( Table 9)
  • Of the 49 fatal casualties in accidental dwellings fires in 2008-09, the most common source of ignition was smokers' materials and matches which accounted for 22 fatalities (45 per cent).( Tables 11 & 15)
  • There were 4,572 deliberate primary fires in 2008-09, representing 35 per cent of all primary fires (13,174). These deliberate fires caused 8 fatal casualties and 317 non-fatal casualties. However, accidental fires have caused significantly more fatal and non-fatal casualties than deliberate fires throughout the past decade. ( Table 11)
  • Over the 10 years covered by this publication, the majority of fatal casualties have occurred in dwellings fires where either the smoke alarm was present but failed to operate or in dwellings fires where a smoke alarm was absent. ( Table 13)