22/03/2005

Fire costs economy £7.7 billion

Fire cost the economy in England and Wales £7.7 billion in 2003, according to a new report.

'The Economic Costs of Fire' report found that direct losses from fire – such as death, injury, absence and damage to property – amounted to £3.3 billion. However, the report said that most of the costs could be attributed to risk reduction measures, such as insurance administration and fire prevention measures, which amounted to £2.8 billion, with the cost of providing fire cover costing around £1.7 billion.

The report also found that a domestic fire is one of the most expensive incidents that can happen to any household, with an average cost of £25,300.

The average cost of a fire in a business property was found to be £58,100, including the economic cost of injuries and fatalities.

Arson attacks were found to cost an estimated £1.9 billion – rising to £2.8 billion if fire cover was included.

The report also said that the cost of fire had risen by £1.5billion since 2000, due to a number of factors including rising property prices and fire cover premiums.

It also reported that false alarms and non-building fires to which the Fire and Rescue Service were called out, cost an estimated £1.4billion.

Commenting on the report, Fire and Rescue Service Minister Nick Raynsford said: "Fire prevention must be the way forward for a modern Fire and Rescue Service. The Government has invested heavily in the Service over this period, and I welcome the increase in business expenditure on fire protection. But the continuing loss of life and property remain cause for concern. That's why we will continue to work with the Fire and Rescue Service in our common aim to bring down the numbers of fires. We have already put in place a number of changes to help achieve this including placing a new statutory duty on fire and rescue authorities to promote fire safety and providing additional funding to help them achieve this."

(KmcA/MB)

Related UK National News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

08 May 2009
Heroic Tyne Firemen Honoured
Two Tyne and Wear firefighters are to be recognised for their bravery at a special ceremony today. Andrew Nelson and Allan Richardson will be presented with the Chief Fire Officer's Commendations for brave and meritorious conduct after saving a man's life. The men took part in a dramatic rescue in the early hours of 4 February.
31 August 2006
Firefighters launch four-day strike
More than 1,000 firefighters across Merseyside have begun a four-day strike in protest over planned job cuts. Another four-day stoppage is scheduled to begin two hours after the first one ends.
03 March 2010
Suspicious Glasgow Car Fires
Detectives in Glasgow's East End are investigating a spate of vehicle fire attacks in the city yesterday. Shortly after 3.30am police were called to a report of a vehicle fire in Ashvale Crescent, Glasgow. Upon arrival police were advised by Strathclyde Fire Service that four vehicles had been damaged by fire.
19 November 2008
Chief Fire Officer Resigns Over Child Porn Arrest
A top fire officer for the West Midlands Fire Service has resigned after he was arrested on suspicion of making indecent images of children. West Midlands Police arrested Frank Sheehan, 55, yesterday at his home in Sutton Coldfield.
17 February 2009
Homophobia In The Fire & Rescue Service Is Unacceptable: Sadiq Khan
The Fire Minister Sadiq Khan and the Fire & Rescue Service's associations and unions joined forces today urging all Fire and Rescue Services to sign up to the Stonewall Diversity Champions Programme.