London Fire Brigade

Elderly accounting for over half of fire deaths, says London Fire Brigade

14 June 2011

Vulnerable elderly people are accounting for over half of fire deaths in the capital, according to new figures from the London Fire Brigade. Out of the 62 people who died in fires in the capital last year, 33 were aged over 60.

A meeting of the London Fire Authority Performance Management Committee will today raise concerns about the safety of some of the capital’s most vulnerable people. Fire authority leaders will say that the Brigade, councils, care workers and the health service must work together closely to recognise the risk of fire to which elderly people in particular are exposed. 

The Brigade believes there is more scope to use domestic sprinklers in some households, particularly where resident are elderly, frail and have mobility restrictions.

Cllr Gareth Bacon, Chairman of the LFEPA Performance Management Committee, said:

“I am very concerned that too many elderly people are dying unnecessarily in fires. It is a highly distressing way for their lives to be ended and the Brigade believes that more can be done to identify those most at risk and to make arrangements to better protect them.

“In a high number of cases, these frail people were regularly receiving care services and support, including in their home. The Brigade is committed to working with the agencies that provide this care so that they can better recognise the risk to which these people are exposed and design solutions to respond to their particular circumstances.” 

ENDS

Notes to editors:

- In 2010/11 of the 62 deaths caused by fire in London, 33 were amongst people aged 60 or over.