Fewer alarm call-outs fire services last year

02/12/2013 15:00

In 2012, the number of fire alarms and the number of requests for assistance were down relative to 2011. The average call-out response time remained the same; 72 individuals were killed in fire-related incidents.

Fewer fire alarms and requests for assistance

Fire services received 142 thousand alarm calls last year, i.e. 96 thousand fire alarms and 46 thousand requests for assistance. The number of fire alarms and the number of requests for assistance were respectively 11 and 4 percent down from 2011.

In 42 percent of cases, the fire alarms were false. In the majority of cases automatic alarm systems are activated by people smoking near smoke detectors or by smoke coming from burnt food. Fire-hazardous activities or malfunctioning equipment may also generate false alarms.

Alarm calls by type, 2012*

Alarm calls by type, 2012*

Call-out response time unchanged

On average, fire services needed less than ten minutes to reach the site of the fire. The average fire call-out response time has hardly changed compared to 2010 and 2011. The average time between the moment the fire station receives the alarm and the moment the vehicle leaves the fire station became shorter, but the time required to reach the site of the fire became longer. On average, fire services reached the place of the incident nearly 40 seconds sooner than in 2007.

Average fire response time

Average fire response time

More people killed in fires, fewer during assistance activities

Last year, 72 people were killed in fire-related incidents (11 more than in 2011), of whom 28 in house fires.

During assistance activities, 541 individuals were killed, a decline by 62 relative to 2011. The majority of victims were killed in traffic accidents.

Fire-related mortality

Fire-related mortality

Mark Vlemmings