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Crime, Disorder and Danger - Fire and Rescue

High Level Summary of Statistics Trend Last update: Thursday, November 16, 2017

Fires in Scotland


Responsibility for producing the Fire and Rescue Statistics, Scotland transferred from Scottish Government to the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service in 2015.  These highlights are taken from the publication produced by the SFRS, the third in this series, which currently is not recognised as Official Statistics under the UK Statistics Authority accreditation scheme. 

Provisionally, there were 44 fire fatalities in 2016-17 – an increase on the all-time low of 31 in 2013-14.  The number of fatal casualties in fires is prone to fluctuation because the numbers are small and, while this figure is higher than in 2013-14, it is the third lowest figure in the last ten years and continues the general downward trend. 

There were 4,926 accidental dwelling fires in 2016-17. Numbers have generally been around the 5,000 mark over the last five years, although they were 10 per cent lower than in 2007-08.

Of the 5,541 dwelling fires in 2016-17, most (89 per cent) were accidental.  Deliberate dwelling fires have been on a downward trend over the last ten years, falling by 48 per cent since 2007-08.

False alarms accounted for 57 per cent of all incidents attended by the SFRS, more than any other incident type. The total number of false alarms – to fire or special service incidents - increased by four per cent from 2015-16 to 2016-17 (from 49,421 to 51,555). This is driven by a rise in false alarms due to equipment which increased by five per cent.  This may in part reflect an increase in the number of alarms fitted in Scotland, though further analysis is required to explore this further.

There were 12,344 special service incidents (i.e. non-fire incidents) attended by the SFRS in 2016-17, a slight fall from the previous year, although still the second largest level in the last seven years. The most common types of special service incidents were “effecting entry or exit” (2,848 incidents) and road traffic collisions (2,454 incidents).



p - provisional

1 - figures before 2009-10 for primary fires are based on sample data weighted to former Fire and Rescue Service level

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