More false alarms for fire services

25/03/2002 10:00

More than 140 thousand incidents were reported to municipal fire services in 2000. Fifty- four thousand of these were false alarms, 47 thousand were fires and 40 thousand were requests for assistance. Compared with 1990, the number of reported incidents was a third higher in 2000.

Reports to fire services

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False alarms

The substantial increase in the number of incidents reported is mostly accounted for by the increase in the number of false alarms, which doubled in the space of ten years. Nine out of ten false alarms are fire alarms, and three-quarters of these false fire alarms are reported through fire alarm systems.
The number of these false alarm-system alarms rose from 18 thousand in 1990 to nearly 35 thousand in 2000. Other false fire alarms rose by eighty percent in this period. The fire services actually go to the scene of the reported fire in nine out of ten false alarms.

Outside fires by cause

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Most fires are outside fires

The number of fires fluctuates slightly from year to year. Two-thirds of the 47 thousand recorded fires in 2000 were outside fires. More than half of these 31 thousand outside fires were caused by arson or vandalism. Per one hundred thousand inhabitants, most outside fires occur in the province of South Holland, nearly twice as many as in Friesland and Zeeland.

Assistance call-outs depend on the weather

Since 1990 the annual number of assistance cases has fluctuated between 30 and 41 thousand per year. In 2000 forty thousand were calls were registered of which more than twenty percent were for flooding or storm damage. In May 2000, for example, the fire services received nearly eight thousand requests for assistance, while in the other months of the year they were only called out two to three thousand times a month. Just as for fires, in 2000 most cases of assistance were in South Holland, while Zeeland had fewest call-outs.

Wim Vissers