National fire statistics data

Category: | Source: UK Statistics Authority

March 2012

Statistics on fires attended by the fire and rescue services in Great Britain are produced by the UK Statistics Authority and published on the Department for Local Communities and Government (DCLG) website.

There is a detailed analysis of accidental house fires, including numbers of deaths and casualties, what started the fire (sources of ignition) and the room where the fire started. There is also a detailed analysis of smoke alarm ownership and effectiveness. However, there are no separate breakdowns for children.

Your local fire and rescue service should be able to provide you with more detailed information on accidental house fires in your area, including those involving children.

Key points from the publication include:

  • Smokers' materials, predominantly cigarettes, were the source of ignition in the fires that accounted for 96 of the 268 fatalities in accidental house fires in 2010-11.
  • Smoke alarms were absent from the fire area in 37 per cent of dwelling fires (16,400 fires). Of the 306 house fire fatalities in Great Britain in 2010-11, 112 (37%) of these fatalities were in fires where there was no smoke alarm present, and a further 76 fatalities (25%) occurred where a smoke alarm was present but did not operate.
  • The proportion of households with a working smoke alarm increased rapidly from 8% in 1988 to 70% in 1994, and has continued to rise in recent years to 86% in 2008.
  • More than half (5%) of accidental fires in homes arose from cooking. Other common sources of ignition were: electrical appliances (12%), electrical distribution (10%), smokers' materials (7%), and space heating appliances (4%).

Contacts for local information

Contact your local fire and rescue service to find contacts or local information:

Contact information: 

DCLG produce the fire statistics in alternative format. To request alternative formats please email

Updated June 2013