2018 recorded the lowest figures for deaths from fires in the home in the last 9 years

• La Rioja, Aragon and Andalusia have the highest rates of deaths per million inhabitants in the home.

• More deaths occur between October and March than during the rest of the year.

• Nearly 5 out of 10 fatalities are people over the age of 65.

Fewer fires and fewer fatalities. This is what the figures for 2018 have revealed to us, a year in which 123 people lost their lives in fires, with 96 of them occurring in the home. This demonstrates that 2018 recorded the lowest number of fatalities due to fires in the home in the last 9 years.

There was also a significant decrease in the daily average number of fires in the home: 42 compared to 63 in 2017. There were also fewer interventions by firefighters: 15,387 compared to 23,000 in 2017. Despite this positive progression it cannot yet be considered as a downward trend, mainly due to the bad data from 2016 and 2017 and the results of the first quarter of 2019, which have been the worst since 2010, with 75 fatalities.

Out of the total number of fires in 2018, 6 in 10 victims were men. The causes of death included intoxication, which affected nearly 6 in 10 (58.8%), and burns, which took the lives of 33%. The main causes of fires in the home in 2018 were down to heating appliances (such as radiators or heaters), with 15 victims, and electrical incidents, with 12 deaths. The number of victims due to smoking has gone up again (8 people).

This is the latest data on fire-related casualities which was disclosed this morning in Madrid by Fundación MAPFRE and the Spanish Professional Firefighters’ Association (APTB) as part of the presentation of the Víctimas de Incendios en España 2018 (Victims of Fires in Spain in 2018) study carried out by both entities in order to publicize accurate information on the number of people killed in fires and to work on preventive action.

85 VICTIMS BETWEEN OCTOBER AND MARCH

This report, the only study to bring together updated and accurate information on these types of incidents in Spain, highlights that during the six coldest months of the year, from October to March, 69.1% of deaths took place, namely 85 victims, of which a total of 74 occurred in the home. The worst month was February where 17 people lost their lives.

ELDERLY PEOPLE

A rise in the number of elderly people living alone and certain bad habits when it comes to heating houses in many rural areas, largely down to using poorly maintained heaters, unprotected chimneys and out-dated electrical appliances meant that almost 45% of deaths from fires in the home in 2018 involved people over the age of 65.

SMOKE DETECTORS IN LIVING ROOMS AND BEDROOMS

The living room continues to be the part of the home where the greatest number of fires occur (33%), closely followed by the bedroom (22%) and the kitchen (33%). Bearing in mind that 78% of fatal accidents in 2018 occurred in the home in 2018, and that 71% of deaths were produced by smoke inhalation, it is very important to install smoke detectors in houses, as they will warn you if there is a fire.

MORE VICTIMS IN LA RIOJA, ARAGON AND ANDALUSIA

In terms of Autonomous Regions, the five regions with the highest incidence of deaths per million inhabitants in 2018 (in total) were: La Rioja (6.3), Aragon (4.5), Andalusia (4.2), Cantabria (3.4) and the Valencian Community (3.2). By contrast, the regions with the lowest fatality rates in homes per million inhabitants were: The Canary Islands (0.9), Madrid (1.6), Catalonia and the Balearic Islands (1.7) and the Basque Country (1.8).

In absolute terms, Andalusia had the highest number of fatalities for the second consecutive year (36 deaths), followed by the Valencian Community (16 deaths) and Catalonia, with 13 fatalities. Despite this, these three regions experienced a significant reduction in deaths compared to 2017.

CLOSE ALL THE DOORS AND CALL 112

In order to prevent a fire, Fundación MAPFRE and the APTB have come up with a simple Survival Roadmap, a guide containing the main steps to follow to prevent a fire, such as not overloading sockets, not putting heating appliances near drapes and not leaving candles unattended. It also includes the procedure to follow if a fire does break out, and it consists of: evaluating

the situation, without taking any risks; if there is no danger, try to put out the fire; if you are unable to do so, alert all the people in the house in order to evacuate the building in a quick and orderly fashion, and close the door on the fire. The roadmap explains that if you can get out of the house you should do so without stopping to take anything with you, apart from your house keys if they are close at hand. You should not use the lift and should call 112 once you are outside. If you cannot get out, call 112, shut all the doors and cover any cracks in the doors with damp cloths, and draw attention to yourself from the window. Remain calm and wait for the firefighters to arrive.

MORE EDUCATION, MORE PREVENTION

Learning to use a fire extinguisher or how to correctly install a smoke detector are some of the activities that children and adults will be able to take part in thanks to Fundación MAPFRE and the APTB, who have been organizing Fire Prevention Week for nearly 15 years, in collaboration with the Fire Departments of 35 Spanish cities. Their goal is for society, and particularly children, to learn how to act if an unintentional fire breaks out in the home.

Fire Prevention Week kicked off today in Fuenlabrada with several free activities and will move on to other towns in the Madrid region such as Alcorcón (23 October), Valdemoro (from 21 to 26 October) and Móstoles (from 18 October to 11 November).