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European Fire Safety Alliance contributes at Statistics at European level

Fatal Domestic FiresNetherlandsStatistics

To measure is to know, especially for organizations engaged in fire safety. That is the strong belief of the European Fire Safety Alliance. Statistics allow us to draw conclusions out of the huge amount of data available. In the field of fire safety an enormous amount of figures, studies, reports and documents is available in the different European countries. Generally, this data is used at national level. The European Fire Safety Alliance aims to share the national data at European level in a way that allows comparison and analysis. We expect individual countries to be better equipped with these broader statistics. This extra information assists further development of expertise and skills in fire safety issues.
For this reason the European Fire Safety Alliance contributed at the translation of the Report ‘Fatal Residential Fires 2016’ from the Fire Service Academy of the Institute for Safety (IFV) in the Netherlands.

The Fire Service Academy structurally gathers data on fatal residential fires in the Netherlands. In this process the Fire Service Academy cooperates with the fire brigades and fire research teams involved in these fires. They provide data on fatal residential fires through a questionnaire. The respondents are approached based on information from press reports about a fatal residential fire in their region. In this way fatal residential fires where the fire service did not assist are included. An example of this is a fire that has already been extinguished at the time of discovery.

Iin 2016 the questionnaire was amended as the previous version had some questions which led to unclear answers, so the formulation has been changed. Furthermore, the questionnaire has been abbreviated where possible. The question logic has been adjusted in a way that only with relevant answers a follow-up questions comes up. Based on results from other research of the Institute for Safety some questions have been added. In this way, following the research on the effectiveness of smoke detectors1, more specific questions are now being asked about the functioning, location, linking and reporting of smoke detectors are being asked.

In response to the results of fire experiments in homes2 more questions are being asked about the state of interior doors and the location of casualties in relation to the seat of the fire. The best location for smoke detectors and the advice to close internal doors is communicated in the information campaigns. With the additional questions it is expected to obtain more insight in the future on the effect of these campaigns. Besides, additional questions are asked about the degree of smoke development near the casualty and the exact time the casualty is found, to allow a future comparison with the data from the research into rescues in residential fires3. Finally, conformation was looked for with the database that fire researchers of the Netherlands Fire Service fill in, in the context of learning of fires4. This has for example led to a change in the categorization of fire causes and residential types.
You can find the report here

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