Damage caused by fires highest in half a decade

The amount of damage caused by fires totalled 1 billion euro in 2008, the highest amount since 2003. The number of fires declined marginally relative to 2007, but fires claimed more lives.

Fire damage

Fire damage

Fewer fires and call-outs

Last year, Dutch fire brigades altogether received 158 thousand fire alarm calls, but 70 thousand concerned false alarms. The majority of false alarms were generated by automatic fire alarm systems.

Fire brigades turned out more than 45 thousand times to fight fires, 2 thousand times more than in 2007. Additionally, fire fighters rendered (technical) assistance nearly 44 thousand times, e.g. to rescue or free people and animals and to battle floods, as against 49 thousand times in 2007.

Fire alarms by type of alarm

Fire alarms by type of alarm

Fire damage totals 1 billion euro in 2008

Total damage caused by the 45 thousand indoor and outdoor fires exceeded 1 billion euro in 2008 and has not been this high since 2003.

The 14.4 thousand indoor fires alone caused damage to the amount of 907 million euro. With 140 million euro, the fire in the Delft University of Technology in May accounted for 14 percent of total damage caused by fires in 2008.

Fires claim more lives

Altogether, 97 persons perished in fires throughout the Netherlands in 2008, i.e. 30 more than in 2007. Among them were 3 firefighters, who were killed in a shipyard fire in the province of Drenthe.

Besides, 874 people were injured in fires, among whom 22 firefighters. The corresponding figures for 2007 are 843 injured and 10 injured fire fighters.

Wim Vissers and Vinodh Lalta