Northern Ireland house fire deaths more than double in past year

Almost 40% of accidental house fires in Northern Ireland in the last year occurred in properties where people lived alone.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 4th October 2021, 4:00 am
The NIFRS urges people to test their smoke alarms weekly
The NIFRS urges people to test their smoke alarms weekly

The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS) has also revealed that eight people died as a result of fires in their home in 2020/21, compared to just three in the previous 12 months.

The NIFRS also said there have been another four house fire deaths in the current reporting period, before the higher-risk winter months begin.

North South Fire Sa fety Week begins today, organised in partnership with the National Directorate for Fire and Emergency Management in the Republic of Ireland, promoting fire safety in the home.

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The NIFRS said some of the most common causes of accidental fires in the home include cooking and electronics, while smoking and being under the influence of drugs and alcohol also increases the risk of an accidental house fire.

Paddy Gallagher, NIFRS assistant chief fire and rescue officer, said: “Last year 39% of accidental house fires occurred in homes where the person lived alone. This Fire Safety Week I would encourage everyone to safely reconnect with neighbours, family members and friends.

“Make sure they have a smoke alarm that they test weekly; that they are aware of the obvious fire dangers in their home; and that they have a fire escape plan if a fire should occur.

Health Minister Robin Swann said: “Fire Safety Week is an ideal opportunity to talk to friends, neighbours and family about the dangers of fire in the home, particularly those who live alone.

“Encourage those you care about to test their smoke alarms and use the free home fire safety checks available from NIFRS.”