London Fire Brigade

Fire safety warning to bright young things setting London alight

30 June 2011

Blazing panOFFICE… GYM… PUB… FIRE – THE BRIGHT YOUNG THINGS SETTING LONDON ALIGHT

Young, well-educated, professionals are causing more than a quarter of all accidental house fires in the capital, according to new figures released today by the London Fire Brigade.

Analysis by the Brigade reveals a checklist of lifestyle traits shared by the young professionals who, in the last three years, were responsible for more than 4,500 of London’s 18,000 house fires. It reveals that they are likely to:

  • be aged 18-35 
  • be degree educated 
  • live in smart rented flats 
  • earn more than £40,000 a year 
  • enjoy keeping fit 
  • drink alcohol more than three times a week

The Brigade is concerned that young professionals are not taking the risk of fire seriously enough. A lot of fires amongst this group, it says, happen after people have been drinking. A typical scenario will involve a young professional returning home, starting cooking and forgetting about it, leaving pots and pans to catch fire. It hopes that today’s figures will remind young, successful Londoners to take extra care and protect themselves from fire.

Councillor Susan Hall, Chairman of London Fire Authority's Community Safety Committee said:

“These figures should be a wake-up call to any young professional in London who still thinks fires only happen to other people. Coming home from the pub after a few too many drinks and starting cooking can be a recipe for disaster. Our message to London’s bright young things is clear - you are not immune from the dangers of fire.

”Over half of the house fires we attend start in the kitchen but cooking after drinking is a risk that people don’t need to take. People should make sure they have a working smoke alarm installed and next time they feel hungry after a night on the tiles, think about ordering out instead.”

The Brigade’s research shows that more than any other group of young Londoners, it is young educated professionals that get their news and information from social media, and the internet. In recognition of this, the Brigade will be posting life saving fire safety tips on its facebook page.

The London Fire Brigade’s top five tips to keep young professionals safe are:

  • Take extra care in the kitchen, especially if you are using hot oil and never leave cooking unattended
  • Don’t cook after a night out drinking
  • Make sure you have smoke alarms fitted on each floor of  your home and test them regularly
  • Have an escape plan so if a fire starts, everyone in your home knows how to get out
  • If a fire starts don’t try to tackle it by yourself. Get everyone out of the house and call 999 immediately  

ENDS

Notes to editors:

  • The Brigade has matched three years of data about accidental fires in the home with Experian’s Public Sector Mosaic segmentation data to identify the types of lifestyle that have the most fires.
  • Mosaic Group G ‘Young, well-educated city dwellers were found to be responsible for 25 per cent of London’s fires (4,534 fires over three years).
  • Mosaic lifestyle data provides a detailed and accurate understanding of each citizen's location, their demographics, lifestyles and behaviours.