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Fire & Rescue Service annual review 2013 published

26 June 2014

‚ÄčIn 2013, the States of Jersey Fire & Rescue Service have published their annual review for 2013.

Chief Fire Officer, Mark James, said "The Fire & Rescue Service is passionate about reducing the number of fires and other emergencies in Jersey. Despite the huge effort the service undertakes to prevent fires and other emergencies, 2013 saw a small increase in the number of house fires and fire related injuries.

"Tragically we also dealt with the first fire-related death in the last five years. We will continue to do everything we can promote fire safety and protect people from harm to try to reverse this trend."

Fire & Rescue Service statistics

In 2013, the service:

  • responded to 1,186 incidents, a slight increase on the 1,067 incidents attended in 2012
  • attended 507 false fire alarms, the lowest for ten years. A new policy to cut the number of false fire alarms attended resulted in a non-attendance at 255 fire alarms in 2013
  • attended 397 non-fire incidents that threatened life or damage, a 24.5% increase on the 319 incidents attended in 2012. This was mainly due to the large number of calls during the snow storms and an increase in water rescue incidents during the summer
  • dealt with the first fire-related death for five years
  • rescued 13 people from domestic fires, the number of people injured in dwelling fires increased slightly from 12 in 2012 to 14 last year
  • attended 49 road traffic accidents, the lowest number by far for five years
  • attended two cliff rescue incidents, rescuing three people

During 2013:

  • the total number of fires slightly increased to 244 compared to 233 in 2012, mainly because of an increase in furze and countryside fires during the hot summer
  • there were 56 house fires, a slight increase compared to the 51 in 2012
  • the service's inshore rescue boats launched 37 times compared to 13 in 2012, the highest number for five years

A total of 22 people who had been cut off by the incoming tide were rescued by the service during 2013, and Fire & Rescue's inshore rescue boats were the busiest search and rescue vessels in Jersey.

Reducing risk in the community

Fire & Rescue has a small, specially trained and qualified fire safety team, all of whom are also operational firefighters. During 2013 they carried out:

  • 321 safety inspections
  • 64 petroleum inspections
  • 290 licensing inspections
  • issued 218 fire certificates / amendments
  • reviewed 66 planning and building applications

Smoke detectors decline in effectiveness

In 2011, 57% of fires attended had working smoke alarms; in 2012, the figure dropped to 51%, and it fell again in 2013. Of the 56 house fires attended, only 43% of occupants were alerted by their smoke alarm, despite most owners having fitted them.

The service continues to promote the importance of alarms, and last year visited 189 homes and installed 200 smoke detectors. A further 300 smoke detectors were installed by the Home Energy Efficiency Service under partnership with Fire & Rescue.

The proportion of households that do not have a smoke detector has remained unchanged at 9% since 2007. The Jersey Annual Social Survey 2013 also showed that:

  • 10% of households with a smoke detector never checked that it was working properly
  • 18% checked their smoke detector less often than a few times a year
  • only 24% checked their smoke detectors at least monthly
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