Fatal Residential Fires : Prevention and Response

Abstract: Fatal fires in residential occupancies show a decreasing trend over time, but are still responsible for takingapproximately 90 lives in Sweden each year. Much is known about the victims, but less is known about how thesedeaths can be prevented. There is research on the effectiveness of different measures, but generally they are populationaverageeffectiveness and, since different groups are known to be subject to quite different scenarios, this effectivenessis not necessarily representative of the effectiveness for any specific group. Therefore, group-specific effectiveness isderived in this thesis. The results indicate that smoke alarms are effective for most groups, but additional measures areneeded for some groups. This is particularly true for older adults, for whom synthetic clothes and detector-activatedsprinklers are highly effective.Also, responses to potentially fatal fires in residential occupancies are almost missing from the literature and weretherefore analysed in the thesis. The conclusion was that fire services saved 51 lives during the studied year (2017),which indicates that the number of fatalities in residential occupancies would have increased by 58% in that yearwithout fire service responses. Response time was found to be important, but also what the crew could perform onarrival at each scene, because many were developed fires that required breathing apparatus to perform the rescue. Inanother study, responses by other actors were also included for older adults (65+), indicating that, in addition to thefire service, neighbours are very important, but for the oldest individuals home care also played an important role.