Fires claimed four lives and caused hundreds of casualties last year in Merseyside

In 2018-19, Merseyside Fire and Rescue service carried out 49,324 home fire safety checks, most commonly for elderly and disabled residents
In 2018-19, Merseyside Fire and Rescue service carried out 49,324 home fire safety checks, most commonly for elderly and disabled residents

Fires claimed four lives and led to hundreds of casualties in Merseyside over the last year, figures reveal.


The Fire Brigades Union said that an increase in deaths from fires across the country showed that services are "wholly insufficient".

The latest Home Office statistics show three people died at home and one in a vehicle in incidents attended by the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service, in the year to June.

Across England, 268 fatalities were recorded over the period, up from 253 the previous year.

The FBU has called for greater funding in fire and rescue services to tackle the "shocking" rise.

Matt Wrack, the union's general secretary, said: "Firefighter numbers have been slashed over the last decade, while the country’s fire safety infrastructure has been dismantled.

"Our entire system of fire safety is wholly insufficient and for far too long politicians have treated fire safety issues with utter indifference.

"We need to completely rebuild our fire and rescue service – and the Fire Brigades Union is demanding this starts immediately."

There were also 219 fire-related casualties recorded in Merseyside over the period, most commonly occurring in homes.

Of these, 22 were severe, while a further 114 required hospital treatment for minor injuries.

The figures also show the work done by the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service in preventing fires.

In 2018-19, they carried out 49,324 home fire safety checks, most commonly for elderly and disabled residents.

Nationwide, the number of fire and rescue incidents was down 20% compared with a decade before, and there were 27% fewer fires.

But incidents have increased recently, an uptick the Home Office attributes to last year's hot summer.

It says warm, dry temperatures drove an increase in secondary fires, which are usually outdoors and less serious than those in buildings.

Fire and rescue services in England will receive around £2.3 billion for the current financial year, a spokesman added.