Number of people killed in fires almost doubled in 2017

Forty-one people lost their lives in fires across the country in 2017.

That's an increase of 20 from the previous year, according to figures from the Department of Housing.

All but two fatal fires were in people's homes and there was no smoke detector in over half these houses.

Phonewatch says it dispatched fire services an average of 27 times a week last year.

PhoneWatch MD Eoin Dunne said “Our thoughts go out to those families who have been affected by a fire in the home.

“It is striking that the vast majority of fatal fires occur in the home. That is why it is essential that every family actively plans for their fire safety while at home.

“Shops, offices and restaurants will all have comprehensive fire safety plans, however the same is not true for most households. This is in spite of the fact that everyday activities we all do such as lighting fires or candles, as well as cooking increase the risks of fire.

“Fires can also have a much bigger impact at night because when we are asleep a small fire has a greater chance of becoming a serious incident.

“A smoke detector is an essential piece of equipment and should be fitted throughout every home. In addition it is worth considering a monitored alarm, this is far more effective as it ensures that even if you are incapacitated, others will always be able to raise the alarm.”

Digital Desk

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