More fire alarms and more damage in hotels and restaurants

Dutch fire services received 92 thousand reports of fires in 2002. Some 3.5 thousand of these reports, 4 percent of the total, concerned fires in hotels, restaurants, caf├ęs etc. Nearly 3 thousand of these were false alarms from hotels and restaurants.

Fire reports from hotels and restaurants

Fire reports from hotels and restaurants

Substantially more false alarms

In the period 1993-2002, just over 550 fires on average were fought by fire services. The number of reported fires has doubled since 1993, mainly because of the large rise in the number of false alarms.

Eight-five percent of fires reported in hotels, restaurants, etc. in 2002 were false alarms.

Nearly all reports of fires from these establishments were reported via fire alarm systems.

Sharp drop in fires in pubs, bars and discos

There were 545 fires in establishments in the hotel and restaurant sector in 2002. Hotels and other forms of overnight accommodation experienced most fires (206), while 120 fires broke out in pubs, bars and discos. The number of fires in the latter category of establishments has dropped sharply in recent years: from about 200 a year in the period 1993-1997, to an average 115 per year in the period 1998-2002.

Fires and fire damage in hotels, restaurants etc.

Strong rise in amount of damage

Direct financial damage caused by fires in hotels and restaurants in 2001 en 2002 was high compared with previous years. In the period 1993-2000 the damage amounted to an average 21 million euro per year. In 2001 it was 69 million euro and in 2002 43 million euro.

The relatively large amounts of damage in 2001 and 2002 were caused by a number of fires in large complexes. In spite of this, the amount of damage in the hotel and restaurant sector accounts for only 5 percent of total damage caused by indoor fires in the Netherlands.

Longer call-out time

The call-out time for fires both in the hotel and restaurant sector and in other sectors is increasing. The reason for this is a longer time between the moment the report is received and the departure of the fire engine from the fire station, while the journey time remains the same. In four out of ten fires in hotels and restaurants the call-out time was eight minutes or more. The call-out time for fires in hotels and restaurants is shorter than for other fires.

Fire in hotels, restaurants etc. by cause, 2002

Fire in hotels, restaurants etc. by cause, 2002

Faulty appliances

An average three out of ten fires in hotels and restaurants in 2002 were caused by faulty appliances or wrong use of appliances. The percentage of fires in hotels and restaurants caused by smoking (7 percent) was twice as high as the percentage of all indoor fires together caused by smoking.

Wim Vissers

Source: StatLine