Community Fire Safety
Reducing fires deaths is an objective for the Fire Authority. Practically all deaths relating to fire in Ireland have been occurring in domestic dwellings which is also reflected in the statistics for county Longford.
The key contributor to fire safety in dwellings is the presence of working smoke alarms which detect and provide early warning to occupants which is vital for safe self-evacuation. Installation of domestic smoke alarms has been the focus of consistent fire safety campaigns in Ireland for two decades. Research indicates that there is a very significant uptake (> 90%) of domestic smoke alarms in Irish households. However, it is not as clear that all are tested and are functioning at this high percentage. Presentations in school and community awareness programmes place great importance on having a household smoke alarm and testing it every week.
Longford County Fire & Rescue Service promotes fire safety awareness in the community through initiatives during fire safety week including local interviews, press statements and social media coverage. Throughout the year presentations are delivered to community groups on request.
Fire related Deaths in Ireland
Nationally there has been a welcome overall downward trend in terms of fire deaths per million of population in Ireland. At 6.9 deaths/ per million of population the fire death rate now is almost half what it was fifteen years previously.
FATALITIES RESULTING FROM FIRES 1995 - 2016
Source: Fire Safety in Ireland, Report of the Fire Safety Task Force, May 2018
Research published by the Health Research Board (HRB) based on the 106
fire related deaths in Ireland occurring during the years 2014-2016 indicated:
- Most fires took place in private dwellings (92%)
in rural locations (55%) and more frequently at night
- The majority were alone at the time of the fire (69%)
- The majority of those who died were male (65%)
- More than half were 65 years or older (52%)
- Alcohol featured prominently in fatalities (51%)
- Other risk groups and factors:
farmers, smokers (30%), poor mobility (15%)
Profile of fire fatalities in Ireland using coronial data, Fire Safety Journal (2019)