2012 a dangerous year for house fires

Published: 3rd January 2013


There were 21 preventable fire deaths, 649 fire injuries and more than 4,219 house fires in NSW in 2012.

The latest Fire & Rescue NSW (FRNSW) figures show small increases in the number of fire deaths and house fires compared to 2011. The biggest increase was the number of fire injuries, up 33 compared to 2011.

Nearly three quarters of the fire victims were male and nearly 30% of those were aged more than 65 years.

FRNSW Commissioner Greg Mullins said 2013 had already got off to a busy start with more than 310 calls for assistance received by 6am on New Year’s Day.

“Every day firefighters attend home fires that could have been prevented with a few simple steps and precautions. Sadly, this includes fires where people have been killed or seriously injured.

“The weather may be warmer, but house fires still happen.

“It can take just three minutes for a fire to take hold, but only seconds to prevent one. It can be as simple as turning off electrical appliances before you go to bed, keeping a close eye on pots and pans when you’re cooking or cleaning the lint filter on the clothes dryer.

“The problem is complacency – people assume it will never happen to them. But I assure you it can. These figures speak for themselves.

“The most important thing you can do in your home is to have a working smoke alarm and a practiced home escape plan.”

Residential fires  
2012  4,219
2011 4,193
Average 2007-11  4,494
Fire injuries  
2012 649
2011 616
Average 2007-11  642
Preventable fire deaths  
2012 21
2011 16
Average 2007-11 19
Fatalities 2012        
Male   Female        
<65 65+           <65 65+            
9 6 4 2
43% 28.5%    19% 9.5%
Total male  71.5% Total female   28.5%
Fatalities 2007-11          
Male   Female  
<65 <65               <65 65+            
50 19 14 13
52% 20% 14.5% 13.5%
Total male 72% Total female     28%