Over 1,100 fires in group accommodation

15/03/2004 10:00

In 2002 more than 1,100 fires broke out in group accommodation half of them in homes for the elderly and nursing homes. The fire services responded to more than 6.5 thousand false alarms by alarm systems. Six in ten call-outs concerned homes for the elderly or nursing homes.

Fires and false alarms by alarm systems in group accommodation, 2002

Fires and false alarms by alarm systems in group accommodation, 2002

Smoking

In 2002, one in every eight fires in group accommodation were caused by smoking. Smoking was the main cause of fire in reception centres, namely one in three. Only three percent of all indoor fires were caused by smoking.

Fires by cause, 2002

Fires by cause, 2002

Arson

More than one third of the three hundred fires that broke out in psychiatric institutions in 2002 were caused by arson. Two-thirds of arson cases in group accommodation occurred in such institutions.

Almost fifty percent of the fires reported in homes for the elderly were caused by faulty equipment or misuse; one quarter of these fires occurred during cooking.

Little financial damage

Eight in ten fires in group accommodation resulted in damage amounting to less than 5 thousand euro.

Total fire damage in group accommodation in 2002 amounted to 11 million euro. Nursing homes suffered the largest amount of damage (5 million euro); asylum seekers’ centres suffered 2 million euro worth.

Fires by average amount of damage, 2002

Fires by average amount of damage, 2002

Four largest cities

One quarter of the more than 1.1 thousand fires in group accommodation in 2002 occurred in the four largest cities. The average amount of damage was 70 thousand euro, substantially higher than the nationwide average of 19 thousand euro.

Wim Vissers