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08/10/13 09:41

Fire statistics Scotland

A National Statistics Publication for Scotland.

There were 26,613 fires in Scotland in 2012-13, the lowest in the past decade, according to national statistics published today by Scotland’s Chief Statistician.

The Fire Statistics Scotland 2012-13 publication, which also includes key statistics on the number and location of fire incidents, fire casualties and special service incidents in Scotland, shows that:

• In 2012-13, the total number of fires in Scotland was 26,613, the lowest in the past decade. Primary fires accounted for 11,045 or 42 per cent of the total, 14,196 or 53 per cent were secondary fires and 1,372 or five per cent were chimney fires.

• The provisional figure for fatal fire casualties for 2012-13 was 46 – a decrease of 14 people, 23 per cent, on the revised figure of 60 for 2011-12. This is the joint lowest figure over 10 years. Of the provisional fire fatal casualties 41 occurred in dwelling fires and 37 of these were attributed to accidental dwelling fires.

• The provisional number of non-fatal fire casualties in 2012-13 was 1,311, a decrease of 104 or seven per cent from 2011-12.

• Males accounted for 50 per cent of fatal casualties - 23 and 54 per cent of non-fatal casualties, 691, for provisional figures for 2012-13.

• The most common source of ignition for accidental dwelling fires where a fire death occurred was smokers’ materials and matches, which accounted 17 out of 37 fatal casualties or 46 per cent in 2012/13. For non-fatal casualties the most common source of ignition was cooking appliances in accidental dwelling fires which accounted for 600 of 1,014 non-fatal casualties, 59 per cent.

• The number of accidental dwelling fires for 2012-13 was at a 10 year low of 4,994. In 16 per cent of these fires - 775, impairment due to suspected alcohol and/or drugs use was a contributory factor.

• During 2012-13, there were 1,801 dwelling fires - 31 per cent - there was no smoke alarm present . In 806 of dwelling fires - 14 per cent - there was a smoke alarm present but it did not operate.

National statistics are produced by professionally independent statistical staff.

Notes to editors

The full statistical publication can be accessed at:

On April 1, 2013, the eight Fire and Rescue Services of Scotland became the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service. The statistics in this publication cover the year immediately preceding the establishment of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and thus cover the eight FRSs.

Fire Statistics Scotland, 2012-13 contains provisional data for the financial year 2012-13 and revised national data for the financial years 2010-11 and 2011-12.

The bulletin reports on a number of different types of fires, which are defined as follows:
Primary fires include all fires in non-derelict buildings and outdoor structures or any fires involving casualties or rescues or any fires attended by five or more appliances.

Secondary fires are the majority of outdoor fires including grassland and refuse fires unless they involve casualties or rescues, property loss or if five or more appliances attend. They include fires in derelict buildings but not chimney fires.

Local Authority breakdown of fires for 2012-13 will be available late November 2013 at the website address below.

Further information on fire statistics within Scotland can be accessed at:

National statistics are produced by professionally independent statistical staff – more information on the standards of official statistics in Scotland can be accessed at: