Fire safety

More Fire Deaths Than Previously Thought

More people die in fires that what the official statistics would have us know, according to Ph.D. research done by a fire protection engineer. The Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency holds that 119 people died in fires last year, although researcher Anders Bergqvist maintains that that figure should be adjusted to upwards of 150 people instead.

Bergqvist cross-checked the Agency's numbers with government lists detailing cause of death to get the higher figure, Swedish Radio News reports.

The older a person is, the higher the likelihood he or she will die in a fire, Bergqvist found.

"When a person starts nearing 75 years old, the risks increase significantly," he told Swedish Radio News. Bergqvist also noted that a disproportional amount of fire victims between the ages of 55 and 70 had alcohol in their systems when the deadly fire struck.

The number of Swedes who die in fires each year has not decreased since the 1940s.