10 August 2010
Jersey Fire and Rescue have released statistics for the first half of 2010 which, compared to the same period in 2009, show a 62% rise in accidental fires in the home.
The main causes of the fires were :
- unattended cooking (23%)
- smoking materials (20%)
- electrical faults (15%)
- cookers / hobs accidentally turned on (12%)
Community fire safety manager Marc Le Cornu said “This is a worrying increase and it is important that people check their own fire safety at home. These statistics show that the kitchen is the most likely location for fires to start and these account for 44% of the fires this year.
"We cannot stress enough the importance of never leaving cooking unattended. If you are called away, turn off the heat until you return and can give it your full attention."
Marc Le Cornu also commented on the use of smoke alarms in people's homes, stating "Another concerning figure is that of all the accidental fires in the home, 25% had a smoke alarm in their home but it did not operate. This was due to detector heads being removed, batteries taken out or faulty detectors.
"The fact that a quarter of the homes had a smoke alarm that did not operate is probably the most frustrating point to feature in these statistics," he added. "It is so simple to test your smoke alarm, it only takes around 20 seconds to test and doing this could save the lives of you and your family”.
Home fire safety visits and information packs
Marc Le Cornu also said “with the information that fires in the home are increasing, it is imperative that people take action to protect themselves and their families. Jersey Fire and Rescue offer free home fire safety visits to those most at risk of fire and also offer free home fire safety packs to everyone. The packs or visits can be obtained by contacting a member of our team by phone on +44 (0) 1534 445933 or by email."
Email the community fire safety team
So far this year the service has attended 40% fewer road traffic collisions and has had a 14% increase in the number of launches of their inshore rescue boat. Both of these figures, combined with the increase in open land fires, could be attributed to the lack of rain and high temperatures that were experienced during the first half of the year.