In 2003 an unprecedented 105 thousand fire alarms were received by fire brigades throughout the Netherlands. In 54 thousand cases, just over half of the incidents reported, the calls for assistance were justified. A reduction of 1,000 fires compared to record year 1996. The upward trend in false alarms continues.
Fires and fire alarms
Outside fires increase by a quarter
The increase in fires in 2003 was entirely caused by a rise in outside fires by 38 thousand. Outside fires grew by 25 percent compared to the previous year. During the dry summer of 2003 the number of verge, forest and heath fires trebled to as much as 10 thousand. Almost four in ten fires in nature reserves were caused by arson or vandalism. The cause of almost half of outside fires cannot be retrieved.
Fires and fire alarms, 2003
Longer call-out times
The call-out time rose marginally in 2003 due to the increased number of outside fires compared to 2002. In 31 percent of the outside fires, fire brigades managed to reach the location of the incident within eight minutes. The figure for indoor fires was significantly higher, namely 46 percent. In 22 percent of fires the call-out time was more than six minutes in 2003.
Share of fires with a call-out time of less than 8 minutes
Most victims in houses
In 2003 the number of people killed in fires totalled 85 and more than 1,100 persons were wounded. In 2002 a total of 70 persons were killed in fires and 1,195 were wounded.
House fires claimed most deaths (45) and wounded (679) in 2003, especially fires in single-family houses.